USA/Canada: Former CIA officer named AB InBev's new Zone President North America

Effective July 1, 2021, Brendan Whitworth will succeed Michel Doukeris Chief Executive Officer of Anheuser-Busch and as Zone President North America of AB InBev, the world’s leading brewer announced today.

Whitworth presently serves as the company’s U.S. Chief Sales Officer and has held various commercial leadership positions in the U.S. for the last 8 years. He succeeds Michel Doukeris, who is transitioning to the role of global CEO of AB InBev, also effective July 1, 2021.

“Over the last four years, Brendan has helped to shape and drive our 10-year commercial strategy. His market insights, consumer-first mindset, and strong leadership have been invaluable assets on our journey to lead industry growth,” said Michel Doukeris, incoming CEO of AB InBev. “With his deep roots in the U.S., his experience partnering with our wholesaler and retail customers, and his ability to inspire the North America team, I am confident Brendan is the right leader to accelerate our momentum in the U.S. and Canada.”

“I extend my congratulations to Brendan. He is an exceptional leader with a proven track record of success and deep relationships in the U.S. His appointment will build on our strong momentum in North America,” added outgoing AB InBev CEO Carlos Brito.

According to the press statement, AB InBev’s North America Zone has implemented a consistent consumer-first commercial strategy, rebalanced and premiumized its industry-leading portfolio, and built a superior leadership team and deep bench of local talent to ensure long-term sustainable growth and success over the past four years.  As a key member of the Zone leadership team and drawing on his deep experience in the CPG industry and his eight years in the Marine Corps and Central Intelligence Agency, Whitworth brings a unique perspective on the U.S. business and the U.S. consumer, reads the statement.

“I am humbled and honored to be appointed to lead our North American business as we continue to write the next chapter of innovation and growth for Anheuser-Busch and Labatt, two iconic industry leaders. As someone with deep personal and professional connections to the U.S, I could not be more excited to continue this journey alongside my exceptional colleagues,” said Whitworth. “I’d like to thank Michel for his confidence in me and for his partnership the last four years. I believe our best is yet to come as we continue to strengthen our industry, drive value for our customers and consumers, and make a positive and lasting impact in our communities.”

As outlined in the press statement Whitworth’s role as U.S. Chief Sales has resulted in improved financial results and strong commercial momentum, including:

  • Improving U.S. top-line revenue trend by 2.8 percentage points from 2017 to 2020.
  • Capturing more than $1 billion of revenue “Beyond Beer” through a combination of organic brand building, strategic acquisitions, and innovative partnerships.
  • Fueling the growth of Michelob ULTRA, the #1 beer share gainer and #2 brand in dollar sales.
  • Leading the implementation of Anheuser-Busch’s innovative e-commerce platforms to better serve customers and consumers.

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