United Spirits appoints Anand Kripalu as new chief

United Spirits Ltd (USL), the world’s largest spirits company by volume, has appointed Anand Kripalu as CEO designate with effect from October 1, 2013, the company disclosed on Tuesday.

"Anand will officially become managing director and CEO on May 1, 2014, succeeding Ashok Capoor, currently president and managing director of USL," USL said in a statement.

Capoor will continue his tenure as president and managing director of USL until April 30, 2014. Following this, he will be appointed as president, strategy of USL for a year with effect from 1 May 2014, USL said.

Chairman of USL Vijay Mallya and Diageo’s Asia Pacific president Gilbert Ghostine said in a joint statement: “Anand brings with him a track record of over 30 years in building, leading and transforming businesses in the FMCG sector. His extensive leadership experience and expertise in emerging markets make him a strong asset to the future growth of the business in India and both USL and Diageo brands. We look forward to working closely together to take the business to even greater heights."

Kripalu was formerly president, India and South Asia, at Mondelez International Inc where he played a key role in leading Mondelez after the global acquisition of Cadbury by Kraft. Kraft was later split into two firms with Mondelez housing the food business. Previously he served 22 years at FMCG giant Unilever where he held various senior sales and marketing roles.

A B Tech from IIT Madras, Kripalu secured an MBA from IIM Calcutta; he also completed an advanced management programme from Wharton.

His role at Mondelez was taken over by Manu Anand (former PepsiCo India CEO) as president, India and South Asia, and managing director of Cadbury India, on July 25.

Diageo, the world’s largest spirits company by revenue, acquired 25.02 per cent of USL, less than half of its original plan after its open offer failed and the quantum of shares bought from Vijay Mallya’s UB Group and out of the treasury stock of the firm was less than what it had envisaged.

Last year, it had signed a deal to acquire up to 53.4 per cent of USL, in a multi-tiered transaction worth as much as $2.1 billion. It has spent a total of Rs 5,312 crore to buy the stake.

(Edited by Joby Puthuparampil Johnson)

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