David Smith to leave Diageo Australia

13 March, 2020 by Andy Young

Diageo Australia is looking for a new Managing Director, as current MD David Smith will be leaving Australia after Easter to take up the role of Managing Director, Diageo Southern Europe.

The role will see Smith move to Madrid, where he will have full responsibility for the Spain, Italy, France, Greece and Portugal markets.

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TheShout asked Smith what he was most proud from his time in Australia, and he said: “I’m most proud of what two fantastic groups of people have achieved. Firstly, the team in Diageo Australia who have created a great place to work and a high performance culture that has delivered growth for our brands, business and customers.

“Secondly, everyone in this great industry in Australia for the hugely positive impact of what they do. Together we bring pleasure, great moments of connection, celebration and enjoyment to Australians. We create jobs and make a great contribution to society particularly the advances in a responsible and moderate consumption culture and in the improving gender equality in our industry.”

In thanking his entire team at Diageo Australia Smith said: “I’ve been lucky to work with a terrific team of people who are innovative, collaborative and brilliant at execution. They care about the company’s role in our community, what contribution we make to the economy through jobs and activity, and the experiences that our products create for our consumers. I’m proud to work for a company like Diageo that puts reputation and trust at the front of everything it does.

“I thank our customers for their collaboration and support — the big retail chains, the proud independent bottle shops, the thousands of great hotels across Australia, the hundreds of small bars and many other restaurants and hospitality venues. Australia has a fantastic alcohol and hospitality industry that is world class and we should be proud of it.”

Diageo Greater China & Asia President Sam Fischer, praised Smith for his work in Australia, saying: “David has been an exceptional leader of our Australasian business over the past five years and his appointment to this exciting new role in Southern Europe is testament to his talent and character. I’m thankful for his strong leadership and support to the wider Asia-Pacific business in that time. While it’s difficult to say goodbye to David, I’m sure all of you will join me in wishing him every success as he takes on this exciting challenge on the other side of the world.

“In his time in Australia, David’s energy to drive transformational change has delivered fantastic results across the board, creating value for Diageo, our categories and our customers. Diageo Australia has never been in better shape and David has led strong performance with top line momentum accelerating significantly during his tenure. David’s leadership has ensured sustainable top line growth of more than 5 per cent annually, and more importantly has shaped a future-focussed strategy that ensures we’re set up for long-term growth.”

Diageo said it is in the process of recruiting a new Managing Director for Australia.