Indian liquor company United Spirits (USL) has named its current Africa Regional Markets managing director Hina Nagarajan as its new managing director and CEO.

She will succeed Anand Kripalu who will step down from the role at the end of June next year.

Kripalu, who has been with USL for nearly eight years, has held his current role for seven years.

The company noted that it has made considerable improvement in operating performance, including in margin growth, working capital, and cash generation, during Kripalu’s tenure.

He also spearheaded the full integration of USL after it was acquired by Diageo in 2013 and also played a pivotal role in promoting inclusion and diversity across the business.

In a statement, the company said: “The USL executive team is now 40% female and Anand leaves both the USL leadership team and broader workplace set up for future success.”

Before joining Diageo in 2018, Nagarajan spent over three decades in consumer-packaged goods businesses and held senior marketing and general management positions at Reckitt Benckiser, Nestle India, and Mary Kay India.

Before joining Diageo, Nagarajan was MD at China & SVP North Asia with RB.

Under Nagarajan’s leadership, Africa Regional Markets has become a significant growth driver for Diageo Africa, the company said.

Nagarajan will move to Bangalore in April 2021 and will work closely with Anand to ensure a smooth transition.

Last year, USL executed a share purchase agreement for the sale of its entire equity share capital in wholly owned subsidiary Four Seasons Wines (FSWL) and associated brands to Grover Zampa Vineyards and Quintela Assets.