Manufacturer of iconic spirits such as Johnnie Walker whisky, Tanqueray gin and Don Julio tequila, Diageo, chose Debra Crew as its next CEO. Crew will replace long-time boss Ivan Menezes to become one of only a handful of women to lead a company in Britain's blue-chip FTSE 100 index.

Crew will take up her new role on July 1, joining the ranks of nine other such women CEOs.

The promotion of former COO Crew to CEO coincides with Diageo's efforts to solidify its hegemony in the US and establish several premium brands. The industry veteran was the President of Diageo North America, its largest market, and Global Supply from 2020.

The new CEO was a former US military intelligence officer, who had als served as the previous CEO of tobacco business Reynolds American. Also, she had experience working for Pepsi, Kraft, Nestle, and Mars.

Crew said she will focus on continuing Diageo's track record of establishing world-leading brands and expanding its image as one of the most responsible firms in the most interesting consumer products category.Outgoing CEO Ivan Menezes had joined Diageo in 1997, and has been credited with growing its sales sharply and steering the company through multiple brand acquisitions as well as a major sustainability overhaul.

Under his direction, the corporation took on a tenth of the entire food and beverage exports from the United Kingdom, or 2 billion pounds ($2.5 billion).

Javier Ferrán, Chairman, Diageo, said, “The Board has diligently planned for Ivan's successor, and we are delighted to have appointed a leader of Debra's calibre to the role. Debra has been a highly valued member of Diageo's leadership team in recent years with an impressive track record of delivery both at Diageo and across other global consumer goods companies. She has deep consumer industry expertise as well as proven strategic capabilities, strong operational performance and a clear ability to build and lead teams. I have no doubt that Diageo is in the right hands for the next phase of its growth."