Diageo GB managing director Charles Ireland is leaving the business after a 20-year stay and travel retail boss Dayalan Nayager will replace him.

Ireland took over the Smirnoff and Guinness supplier’s UK business in June 2016 following a stint in Africa, and he is now off to “pursue opportunities outside of the business”.

Nayager joined Diageo in 2013 as a key accounts manager in Cape Town and worked his way up to commercial director in South Africa.

In 2015 he moved to London to head up the firm’s European travel retail arm and then he took over as managing director for global travel in 2016. He will be replaced by Eduardo Barp, previously general manager for the Caribbean and Central America.

Nayager will report to John Kennedy, president of Diageo Europe, Turkey and India, who said: “I would like to thank Charles for the substantial contribution that he has made to Diageo and for the legacy that he leaves behind, not just in GB but in many countries around the world.

“He has made a significant impact on the business, both on a professional and a personal level, and I wish him all the best for the future. I would also like to congratulate Dayalan on his appointment and welcome him to the European Executive Committee in his new role.

“I’ve been impressed with Dayalan’s passion for diversity and engagement along with his strong performance focus and I am excited about what he will achieve for GB, France and Ireland.”