Corporate Governance

The board of directors is responsible for both the stewardship and governance of the company. As part of this, it sets the company’s strategic aims and values and oversees the executive management who carry out the operational running of the business. The board is also charged with reporting to shareholders on the company’s performance and, in this area, we feel that we are already well placed to comply next year with the revised requirements of the UK Corporate Governance Code (as defined below) to make the annual report fair, balanced and understandable. We continue to believe that our board has the diversity and the mix of skills, experience, independence and knowledge of the company to enable it to discharge its responsibilities successfully.

In presenting this report, we seek to explain how your company is directed and controlled, by describing the membership and work of the board and its committees, the approach to ensuring board members have an appropriate understanding of the business, and how the board considers its effectiveness. The report also explains the executive direction and control and our corporate governance structures and procedures.

During the year, the company announced the succession of its chief executive, which was effective on 1 July 2013. Several other changes to the membership of the executive committee (as defined below) were made during the year, which were also effective on 1 July 2013 (as shown in the biographies of directors and members of the executive committee). Changes have also been made to some of the ways of working of the executive committee and these are explained below, in the Corporate Governance report.

The principal corporate governance rules applying to UK companies listed on the London Stock Exchange (LSE) for the year ended 30 June 2013 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 Conduct Authority (FCA) 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 FCA 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. While 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 within the Corporate Governance report and this website. 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