Diageo boss Walsh to net £46m retirement fund

Diageo chief executive Paul Walsh. Picture: TSPL
Diageo chief executive Paul Walsh. Picture: TSPL
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The retiring boss of Johnnie Walker owner Diageo will leave the drinks giant with a golden goodbye worth about £46 million.

Paul Walsh, who is calling time on almost 13 years in charge of the FTSE 100 drinks group, retires with what is likely to be one of the most generous farewell deals in British corporate history.

Walsh, who has led the company since 2000 and spearheaded acquisitions and expansion into emerging markets, will hand over to new chief executive Ivan Menezes in July.

Walsh will retire with shares worth £15.5 million at their current price of 2,019.5p, plus options over stock worth around £11.7m, according to reports. He also has a pension pot worth £19.2m, which would pay out £578,000 a year once he retires.

He is due to remain with Diageo for a year-long transition period before retiring. However, Walsh will not necessarily receive the full £46.4m total as the share options, which vest over three years, are tied to Diageo’s performance.

Walsh earned £11.2m in pay and bonuses last year.