James Moore: Diageo's Paul Walsh deserves high praise

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The Independent Online

Outlook Mr Corcoran may just be out of the stalls, but Paul Walsh has reached the finishing line. He has stepped down as boss of Diageo, with the company's shares having more than tripled on his watch.

There are other drinks businesses that have done better (Investec points to Pernod Ricard) but it is still pretty good going, given that the FTSE 100 has over the same period put on about 50 per cent. In a world of overwhelming pay packages for distinctly underwhelming performance, that rather stands out.

You would think the market would have the good grace to mark the shares down, a compliment generally extended to the small group of chief executives who can point to similarly impressive resumés, but the transition to his de facto number two Ivan Menezes has been handled with such aplomb, and the business's prospects are sufficiently attractive that most investors appear only too happy to hang in there. Perhaps that's the best compliment of all.