Diageo Managing Director Global Travel Dayalan Nayager is moving to a key role in the company as Managing Director for GB, Ireland and France.

Eduardo Barp, currently the drinks giant’s General Manager Caribbean & Central America, will assume Nayager’s place in heading the travel retail business. He will report to Diageo Latin America and Caribbean, Global Travel and Global Sales President Alberto Gavazzi.

The senior leadership changes are effective from 1 January 2019.

Dayalan Nayager leaves the Global Travel business “in great shape”. He will become Managing Director for GB, Ireland and France on 1 January.

“Dayalan leaves the Global Travel business in great shape,” said Gavazzi. “It has never been as structured and disciplined as it is today, with such a strong focus on the customer, and I wish him all the best in his new European role.

“I would like to congratulate Eduardo on his appointment to the Global Travel team and look forward to working with him on this exciting global agenda.”

Gavazzi will continue to oversee the global travel business to ensure continuity of strategy and commercial policies, he told The Moodie Davitt Report. Barp’s replacement will be the subject of a future announcement.

Nayager has worked in Diageo’s Travel Retail business for nearly four years, becoming Managing Director for Global Travel in 2016.

Eduardo Barp will move from his current role as General Manager Caribbean & Central America.

Diageo said he had “propelled the business towards solid growth” over the last two years with the channel’s number one spirit brand by sales, Johnnie Walker, extending its market leading position in 2017 [according to IWSR figures].

Nayager has overseen a commercial transformation of the business, Diageo said. This started with returning the division from Singapore to London in 2016, and was followed by a strategy reshaping that ensured the organisation “remained customer-focused while still providing strong financial performance”.

In his new role, Nayager will report to Diageo Europe, Turkey and India President John Kennedy. He is replacing Charles Ireland, who is leaving Diageo at the end of December 2018 after more than 20 years with the company. Ireland will pursue opportunities outside of the business.

“I would like to congratulate Dayalan on his appointment and welcome him to the European Executive Committee as part of his new role,” said Kennedy. “I’ve been impressed with Dayalan’s passion for diversity, engagement and strong performance focus and am excited about what he will achieve for GB, France and Ireland.”

Barp has been General Manager Caribbean & Central America since 2016. He joined Diageo in 2007 as Sales Director for Mexico, where under his leadership Scotch volumes doubled and NSV tripled.

Eduardo Barp, Dayalan Nayager and Alberto Gavazzi pictured with 3Sixty Executive Vice Chairman Roberto Graziani (second from right) at the launch event for the former DFASS Group’s new identity in October. [Picture: Martin Moodie]

Barp became Commercial Lead for Business Development for Diageo Latin America and Caribbean in 2011 before being appointed Customer Development Director, Western Europe. He was appointed as General Manager, Venezuela in 2013, where he “led a business under highly complex circumstances with exceptional skill and leadership”, according to Diageo.

The drinks company said Barp’s years of commercial and management experience within Diageo would enable him to transition smoothly to his new role, with continuity being provided by Gavazzi.

Dayalan Nayager (second from left) questions the sustainability of the airport retail tender model during the 2016 Trinity Forum in Mumbai. He is pictured with GVK Vice Chairman and Mumbai International Airport Managing Director GV Sanjay Reddy (left); Dufry CEO Julián Díaz (second from right); and The Moodie Davitt Chairman Martin Moodie (right).

COMMENT: Dayalan Nayager’s appointment to such a key local markets role (embracing the company’s second-biggest domestic market, the UK) is a testament both to his achievements within travel retail and the focus the drinks giant places on that channel, writes Martin Moodie.

Nayager has done a good job in first transitioning and then building Diageo’s Global Travel business, since the potentially major upheaval of the relocation from Singapore to London in July 2016.

The business has flourished in the intervening years, being characterised by several channel-specific launches such as the Dufry-exclusive Johnnie Walker Black Label Triple Cask Edition and a flurry of innovation.

Barp, highly regarded internally, will relocate to London from Miami. His considerable success in the Americas, allied to key European experience, will stand him in good stead for his new global role, the company believes as it steps up its focus on a channel given high priority internally.

Under Nayager’s leadership, Diageo Global Travel has cemented Johnnie Walker’s leadership in the channel. Pictured is the first Johnnie Walker store in the Americas, opened with Duty Free Americas at Miami International Airport in 2017.