Sir George Bull has a long history of working in the alcohol industry. In 1957 he began his career with International Distillers and Vintners (IVD). He went onto run Grand Metropolitan's food division before becoming chief executive and then chairman. Bull was at the helm when Grand Metropolitan merged with Guinness to form Diageo; this £22 billion pound deal was the biggest merger the UK had seen. He was joint chair of Diageo for seven months before retiring in 1997. Knighted in 1998 for services to the drinks industry, Bull then joined J Sainsbury board (1998-2004). Bull had also acted as advisor to Marakon Associates and a director of BNP Paribas UK and The Maersk Co Ltd.