DIAGEO, the drinks giant behind Smirnoff vodka and Guinness, has named Xerox chief financial officer Kathryn Mikells as its next finance boss.
Mikells fills the role vacated by former CFO Deirdre Mahlan after she was parachuted in to run the FTSE 100 drinks company’s troubled North American business earlier this year.
Mikells has been Xerox’s CFO since 2013 and previously served as CFO of United Airlines from 2008 to 2010.
“Xerox is a prestigious company, it can be a springboard to other things,” James Kelleher, an analyst with Argus Research, told Bloomberg. “She was well regarded on the street.”
Ivan Menezes, chief executive of Diageo, said: “Diageo is focused on driving performance from our core and on improving productivity to drive out cost to invest in growth.
“Kathryn has the experience of working with teams to drive disciplined performance management which will contribute to the achievement of our performance ambition.”
Last month, Diageo warned that the the strong pound will cut its profits by £150m this year, £50m more than previously expected. The business has forecast a return to revenue growth following a two-year slump as a result of flat sales in key markets.
“We are starting to see the benefits of the changes we have put in place and I am confident we are uniquely positioned to take advantage of this growth sector,” said Menezes.
Suzanne Baxter is to step down next month following the departure of CEO Ruby McGregor-Smith
The number of start-ups setting up in London’s tech district fell by 70% over the last year, new research shows
James Gregory appointed following promotion of incumbent CFO
Jeremy Fletcher, interim finance director and change-management consultant, currently at Global Shared Services, gives his views on the year ahead