The word in well-informed business circles is that Paul Walsh, the former chief executive of drinks giant Diageo, has been approached about becoming the next chairman of the Formula One. Group. If the appointment goes ahead he would replace current chairman Peter Brabeck-Letmathe who has not been well and is planning to step down. Walsh is coming up to 60 and enjoyed a highly successful career in the drink and food industries. He joined Grand Metropolitan in finance in the early 1980s and quickly impressed the management and was appointed CFO of the company’s hotel division. Two years, arguing that the firm should take advantage of high real estate values and sold the business to a Japanese firm for $2.3 billion in cash. He then moved to Grand Met’s food division and began a hostile takeover of Pillsbury and then built up the business, notably the Häagen-Dazs brand. When Grand Met merged with Guinness to create Diageo, Walsh became CEO and began streamlining and refocusing the firm, selling Pillsbury to General Mills for $10.1 billion, and Burger King for $1.5 billion. He used the money to strengthen Diageo’s brans portfolio, adding Captain Morgan rum and Crown Royal whisky and marketing the business aggressively. It remains to be seen what the future holds for F1 but the suggestion in that Walsh is being called on to find a way to build up the business for a future flotation.