Corporate Governance

Diversity on boards of directors and elsewhere in corporate life continues to be a significant theme in corporate governance. At Diageo, we have long believed that supporting and respecting all aspects of the diversity of our people is an important contributor to business performance as well as being the right thing to do. There are five nationalities represented on our board and four of the 10 directors are women. In addition to the individual skill sets that each director brings, we continue to believe that this helps to provide an appropriate perspective on business issues and a balance of the skills, experience, independence and knowledge of the company needed to enable the board to: discharge effectively its responsibilities for governance of the company, including setting the company’s strategic aims and its values; providing the leadership to put them into effect; supervising and constructively challenging the management who are responsible for the day to day operational running of the business; and reporting to shareholders on their stewardship.

We endeavour in this report to give a sense of how these responsibilities are approached by describing our corporate governance structures and procedures and the work of the board and the executive committee.

The principal corporate governance rules applying to UK companies listed on the London Stock Exchange (LSE) for the year ended 30 June 2012 are contained in The UK Corporate Governance Code as updated and published by the Financial Reporting Council (FRC) in May 2010 (the Code) and the UK Financial Services Authority (FSA) Listing Rules, which require companies listed on the Main Market of the LSE to describe, in their annual report, their corporate governance from two points of view: the first dealing generally with their application of the Code’s main principles and the second dealing specifically with non-compliance with any of the Code’s provisions. The two descriptions together are designed to give shareholders a picture of governance arrangements in relation to the Code as a criterion of good practice. Diageo has complied with all relevant provisions set out in the Code throughout the year. The Code is publicly available under the heading ‘Corporate Governance’ at the website of the FRC,

Diageo must also comply with corporate governance rules contained in the FSA Disclosure and Transparency Rules as well as certain related provisions in the Companies Act 2006 (the Act). As well as being subject to UK legislation and practice, as a company listed on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), Diageo is subject to the listing requirements of the NYSE and the rules of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Compliance with the provisions of the US Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 (SOX), as it applies to foreign issuers, is continually monitored. Whilst the directors believe that the group’s corporate governance policies continue to be robust, changes have been and will continue to be made in light of the rules that are in place at any point in time. Diageo follows UK corporate governance practice; differences from the NYSE corporate governance standards are summarised below within this report and on the company’s website at

The way in which the Code’s principles of good governance and relevant provisions of SOX and applicable laws and regulations are applied is described within the corporate governance report.

Board committees' terms of reference