NEW YORK — AB InBev announced Monday that Brendan Whitworth will be appointed Zone President North America and Chief Executive Officer of Anheuser-Busch, effective July 1. 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.
“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.”
Added outgoing AB InBev CEO Carlos Brito, “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.”
Over the past four years, 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. 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.
“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 U.S. Chief Sales Officer, Whitworth’s strategic leadership, strong customer relationships, and expert use of innovative sales technologies and consumer insights have 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.
- Strengthening relationships with wholesalers and retail business partners, resulting in being ranked the #1 alcohol beverage supplier by U.S. retailers in the annual Advantage Survey.
“Our improved performance and overall momentum are a direct result of the hard work, diligence and passion of our more than 22,000 employees in North America that I’m proud to call my colleagues,” Whitworth said. “It is my privilege to lead this exceptional team as together we embark on this next phase of growth and success.”
"On behalf of my fellow Anheuser-Busch wholesalers I’d like to congratulate Brendan on ascending to the CEO role. The "work together, win together" shared philosophy with our wholesaler network is thriving, and that is due in large part to Brendan's commitment to a collaborative and open-minded approach to the relationship,” said Jay Doll, Vice President, Doll Distributing. “The A-B wholesaler network is the best in the business, and we look forward to continuing our strong focus on servicing our customers, delivering results, and driving long-term growth and success.”
Prior to his time as U.S. Chief Sales Officer, Whitworth’s deep and multi-faceted commercial experience at AB InBev includes roles as Vice President U.S. Trade Marketing, Vice President Sales U.S. Northeast Region, and Global Vice President Tech Sales. Prior to joining AB InBev, Whitworth held a series of U.S. commercial leadership roles at PepsiCo Frito-Lay. Following his years serving with the U.S. Marine Corps and the Central Intelligence Agency, he earned an MBA from Harvard Business School before embarking on his successful career in the private sector.
Whitworth’s successor will be named at a later date.