Diageo’s global chief marketing officer Syl Saller is exiting the drinks business after twenty years.
Global category director, Scotch and reserve brands Cristina Diezhandino will move into the CMO position.
Saller has been with Diageo since 1999, starting as the marketing director across Britain before being named the global CMO of the drinks giant in 2013.
She will leave the company at the end of June and will be focusing on leadership development, executive coaching and other roles.
“Deciding to leave and embark on the next stage of my career is one of the hardest decisions I’ve ever made. Diageo is the most incredible company, with people who are talented, committed, and passionate,” she said.
“My goal is to go out into the world and develop more of those people. I am very proud of what I’m leaving behind – a strong function that is committed to getting better by learning and growing themselves.”
Saller said Diezhandino as a “remarkable leader, driven by both performance and creativity”.
“Cristina has a deep understanding of brands, markets and operations and is widely respected, unflappable with deep compassion for others.”
Saller has been named on Forbes’ World’s Most Influential CMOs list multiple years was known for pushing agency partners to improve their track record with hiring women for senior creative and director roles.
Diageo CEO Ivan Menzes said: “I have had the privilege to work closely with Syl over many years and we have enjoyed an amazing partnership.
“Syl has always held herself and colleagues to the highest standards while showing great empathy for our people and their success. We are all hugely grateful for her leadership impact in delivering Diageo’s performance and building our reputation as a world class consumer marketing company.
“Thanks to Syl, our pipeline of marketing talent has never been stronger, and I am delighted that Cristina will be our new CMO. Cristina has consistently shown herself to be a widely respected and resilient leader, able to build high performing teams across geographies and businesses and I look forward to continued brand growth under her leadership.”
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