International conglomerate InBev, the world’s largest brewery by volume, has shook up its upper management.
Brazilian Carlos Brito, 45, will replace John Brock as chief executive, and German Peter Harf will become chairman. InBev was formed last year by the merger of Belgium’s Interbrew with South America’s largest brewer, AmBev.
“There is going to be a change,” said outgoing chairman Pierre Jean Everaert. “Brito is young and aggressive and he knows how to develop markets.”
The board expects Brito to focus on making the company’s three flagship brands – Beck’s, Stella Artois and Brahma – global products. The company faces particular challenges in Western Europe and the United States, where an aging population is drinking more wine and less beer.
“He knows how to sell straight to bars and stores,” said Everaert. “He knows how to advertise – how to go straight to the point of consumption.” An example, he explained, is Brahma, a lager much like Budweiser or Corona that InBev is trying to sell with a slick twisty bottle shape and a Samba allure.
InBev has been buying companies in Asia and Russia this year and Everaert said the spree could still continue. “We have not lost our appetite for acquisitions We have he financial capacity to do so,” Everaert said.