Diageo, the London-based alcoholic beverage company that produces Smirnoff, Ketel One, Guinness and Johnnie Walker, promoted the finance chief of its largest market, North America, Lavanya Chandrashekar, to global CFO, the company announced Thursday.
Chandrashekar replaces Kathryn Mikells, who has led finance for the beverage giant for six years, effective July 1.
Chandrashekar joined Diageo in July 2018 as CFO of Diageo North America, a role in which, in October, she also took on global investor relations, the filing said.
Just prior to joining Diageo, Chandrashekar spent nearly five years at snack foods corporation Mondelēz International in senior finance positions in North America, Eastern Europe, Middle East and Africa.
As Mondelēz’s vice president of finance, global cost leadership and supply chain, she led an end-to-end global productivity program that improved operating margins, according to the company's 6-K filing.
Prior to Mondelēz, Chandrashekar spent 18 years at Procter & Gamble in senior finance positions in India, Asia, Europe and North America.
Outgoing CFO Mikells joined Diageo from the Xerox Corporation in November 2015. Prior to that, she spent 16 years in finance leadership at United Airlines.
"[Chandrashekar] brings a breadth of international experience, has an exceptional grasp of consumer products value creation and world class experience of effective cost management," Diageo CEO Ivan Menezes said in a statement.
"Lavanya's strong track record at Diageo, and previously with leading CPG companies, will ensure she makes a valuable contribution as we continue to make progress on our ambition to become one of the most trusted and respected consumer products companies in the world," Chairman Javier Ferrán said.
Over the past two years, Chandrashekar has helped expand Diageo North America’s shared services platform and develop commercial partnerships, the company said.
As CFO, Chandrashekar is expected to continue her predecessor’s efforts to cut expenses and boost efficiencies. Mikells introduced zero-based budgeting, which requires starting each year’s budget from scratch, according to the Wall Street Journal.
Also during Mikells’s tenure, Diageo began using predictive analytics to "gather and crunch large amounts of data to identify trends and forecast customer demand and commodity prices," the Journal said.
Representatives for Diageo and Chandrashekar declined requests for comment.