The Indian-born business leader passed away days after he was rushed into hospital for emergency surgery, for medical issues including a stomach ulcer.
Menezes joined Diageo at its creation in 1997 and held many senior positions in a career spanning over 25 years at the company.
He had been the strategy director for Guinness plc. When Diageo was subsequently created through the merger, Ivan was appointed group integration director – later being made chief executive in 2013.
Menezes, who was awarded a knighthood in January, has helped steer the business through great periods of success – including a $1bn (£800m) deal for tequila brand Casamigos.
Javier Ferrán, Chairman, Diageo plc, said:“This is an incredibly sad day. Ivan was undoubtedly one of the finest leaders of his generation.
“Ivan was there at the creation of Diageo and over 25 years, shaped Diageo to become one of the best performing, most trusted and respected consumer companies.”
Menezes successor, Debra Crew, has already become interim CEO. She was appointed following the announcement of his surgery earlier this week.
“Sir Ivan paid a lot of attention to culture within the business, while also making sure Diageo was a leader in the fields of sustainability, inclusivity and diversity,” Russ Mould, investment director at AJ Bell said.
“A succession plan was already in motion before Sir Ivan became unwell, meaning there is no uncertainty over who will run the business. However, news of his death is a shock and the world of business will be in mourning for one of the most highly respected FTSE 100 leaders.”