Paul Walsh

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Alcohol badge.jpg This article is part of the SpinWatch public health oriented Alcohol Portal project.
Dr Paul Walsh is the former chief executive of Diageo, who in June 2013 retired after 13 years at the helm of the world's largest alcohol company.

Walsh is now incoming chairman of contract caterer Compass Group, but 'will be paid £80,000 a year to continue to represent his former employer in the Scotch whisky industry after receiving almost £15m in cash and long-term bonuses from the company in its most recent financial year'. [1]



Walsh was ranked the second most powerful influence over what the world will be drinking in 2008 by The Drinks Business, an online trade magazine. [2] Diageo made sales of £7.48 billion in 2007, more than 60 per cent more than its nearest rival. The company outsells the competition in every emerging market except for China, and Walsh made no secret of his determination to catch up with Pernod Ricard in this key territory.

He was listed by the Guardian as ranking 16th in the top 20 earners in Britain in 2003, with a salary of £3,457,909. [3] He joined Grand Metropolitan in 1982 going on to become CEO of the Pillsbury Company in 1992. He was appointed to the Diageo Board in 1997 and became its CEO in 2000.

Paul Walsh's view on business in the UK: 'The UK's enterprise culture needs strengthening. We need those who seek to legislate, regulate, or otherwise influence opinion to see business as an inherently good thing, creating prosperity and the foundation on which the institutions of civil society can flourish. We need to change the culture of this country so that enterprise is celebrated.'[4]

In January 2012 Paul Walsh joined other political and business leaders to attend meetings at the World Economic Forum's Davos conference. [5]


Former Directorships


  1. Jill Treanor, Diageo paid former boss £15m in his final year,, Monday 12 August 2013 22.22 BST, acc same day
  2. The Drinks Business Website DB Top 50: The Influencers Last accessed December 4th 2007
  3. Guardian press release, 26.08.04, Top Earners viewed 24.01.05
  4. Paul Walsh, Diageo CEO, 28.06.04, The London Business School Summit on Global Leadership, - viewed 18.01.05
  5. Channel 4 News, 25th January 2012
  6. Centrica Website About Us accessed 3rd June 2008
  7. Scotch Whisky Association, New Chairman for Scotch Whisky as exports break records 2nd December Press Release, accessed 5th December 2011
  8. FAME Financial Database Scotch Whisky Association Last Accessed 2nd July 2007 (subscription required)
  9. Henley Management Centre, About Us accessed 24/04/05
  10. FAME Financial Database Scotch Whisky Association Last Accessed 2nd July 2007 (subscription required)
  11. Federal Express Website, UK Contacts accessed 24/04/05
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