AB InBev announced on Monday that its Zone President North America and CEO of Anheuser-BuschJoão Castro Neves is stepping down from his position and will be replaced by Michel Doukeris, effective January 1, 2018.
The change in leadership of the U.S. business comes in times when sales in AB InBev’s largest market are sliding. Since 2010 market share has fallen from 19% to 16%.
Just three weeks ago, AB InBev released figures for the 3rd quarter 2017. The Premium and Premium Light segments in the U.S. continued to underperform the industry. Budweiser and Bud Light market share declined by 45 and 95 bps this quarter, respectively. (inside.beer 26.10.2017)
"The U.S. is our most important market and we recognize the need to continue to focus on driving topline growth across our portfolio," said AB InBev Chief Executive Carlos Brito in a press statement. "Now, we’re going to have a more commercially minded person at the head of the business," Brito told the Wall Street Journal.
João Castro Neves, Brazilian by birth, worked 22 years for AB InBev and held several key finance and business roles before, including the zone president role for Latin America South.
His successor Michel Doukeris, who is also a Brazilian veteran of the company with a 20 year long career, presently serves as Chief Sales Officer of AB InBev. Before he was AB InBev Zone President Asia Pacific, President of AB InBev’s Chinese operations and Vice President Soft Drinks at AB InBev’s Brazilian arm Ambev.