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Hina Nagarajan to head United Spirits from July 2021

Nagarajan is currently the managing director of the Africa Regional Markets (ARM) at Diageo and will join USL as the CEO-Designate from April 1, the company said. She will report to John Kennedy, the president of Diageo Europe and India.

By: PTI | New Delhi | December 11, 2020 12:44:13 pm
hina natarajan diageoHina Nagarajan. (Image source: LinkedIn/Hina Nagarajan)

United Spirits Ltd (USL), a part of global liquor giant Diageo, on Thursday appointed Hina Nagarajan as the company’s new CEO with effect from July 1, 2021.

Incumbent Anand Kripalu will step down on June 30.

Nagarajan is currently the managing director of the Africa Regional Markets (ARM) at Diageo and will join USL as the CEO-Designate from April 1, the company said, adding she will take over formally from July 1 and will be a member of the Diageo Executive Committee.

She will report to John Kennedy, the president of Diageo Europe and India. Nagarajan will be based in Bengaluru and will work closely with Kripalu to ensure a smooth transition, the company said.

In her current role, she leads Diageo’s ARM comprising operations in Ghana, Cameroon, Ethiopia, the Indian Ocean, Angola and several other countries.

Before joining Diageo, she was MD China & SVP North Asia with RB (Reckitt Benckiser). She has over 30 years of experience and held several senior marketing and general management positions in Nestlé India and Mary Kay India.

Kripalu, who joined United Spirits nearly eight years ago and was the managing director and CEO for seven years, will step down on June 30, 2021, to pursue the next phase of his career, it said.

He had led full integration of USL after its acquisition by Diageo and played a key role in making considerable improvement in operating performance – margin growth, working capital and cash generation – of USL, it said.

One of his key contributions was induction of the USL executive team with 40 per cent female staff.

USL manufactures, sells and distributes an outstanding portfolio of premium brands such as Johnnie Walker, Black Dog, Black & White, VAT 69, Antiquity, Signature, Royal Challenge, McDowell’s No.1, Smirnoff and Captain Morgan.

Headquartered in Bengaluru, USL runs 49 manufacturing facilities in India.

Diageo had announced a multi-structured deal in 2012 to acquire a majority stake in USL, which was then led by Vijay Mallya, for Rs 11,166.5 crore.

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