The world's top spirits maker reportedly began the search for a new chair earlier this year, while it grappled with the aftermath of a November profit warning that dented its confidence with some investors.

Manzoni joined the Diageo board in 2020, after leading the UK Civil Service as Chief Executive from 2014. He is currently chair of energy business SSE plc and previously spent 11 years as a non-executive director of African beer brewer SABMiller, which was taken over by Anheuser-Busch InBev in 2016.

Susan Kilsby, Diageo's senior independent director who led the appointment process, said Manzoni had been appointed following an extensive search process.

"John has an outstanding track record of leadership," she said, adding his experience will be instrumental as Diageo continues to develop and grow its global business in the coming years.

Current chair Ferran will retire from the board in 2025. He has held the role since 2017. Diageo CEO Debra Crew said he had been an "invaluable source of strategic advice and counsel" for her and the wider leadership team.

(Reporting by Yadarisa Shabong in Bengaluru and Emma Rumney in London; Editing by Savio D'Souza, Kirsten Donovan)