Anheuser-Busch Shuffles U.S. Commercial Execs

The beer giant says the stronger commercial alignment will further accelerate its next phase of innovation and growth.

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ST. LOUIS — On Sept. 7, Anheuser-Busch announced enhancements to its U.S. commercial leadership team to further support the company's consumer-first commercial strategy. The new commercial leadership team brings more than 60 years of combined experience building brands and driving growth in the U.S. and other markets worldwide.

"Over the last four years, we have developed and implemented a clear and consistent consumer-first strategy that has resulted in strong momentum for our U.S. business," said Brendan Whitworth, CEO, Anheuser-Busch. "The new commercial structure we are announcing today, along with key leadership changes, will make us better partners to our wholesalers and retailers, ultimately accelerating our momentum in the U.S."

NorringtonNorringtonFirst, Kyle Norrington, currently President of Labatt in Canada, will assume a new role as U.S. Chief Commercial Officer, overseeing Sales and Marketing in the U.S.  During his time leading our business in Canada, Norrington developed and implemented the Canada 10YP, resulting in the gain of a full share point in 2020 driven by the outperformance of above core brands, led by Michelob ULTRA. He also step-changed the Beyond Beer portfolio and performance through innovation, organic growth, and strategic acquisitions like Nutrl Vodka Soda, solidifying Labatt as the clear market leader in this booming category. Prior to leading Labatt, Norrington was based in New York where he oversaw Global Brands at AB InBev, including Budweiser, Stella Artois, and Corona. During that period Norrington was deeply involved in the U.S. business, working closely with the U.S. commercial team to implement innovative brand building initiatives. After joining the company as a sales rep, Norrington's 21-year career at AB InBev has spanned various roles in both the Sales and Marketing functions.

"I'm truly honored to lead this new commercial structure and a team that is recognized as one of the best in the business," said Norrington. "I'm also excited to bring our amazing portfolio to consumers and accelerate the growth momentum we have created in the U.S."

Second, Simon Wuestenberg, currently President of Anheuser-Busch's wholly owned distributor business unit AB ONE, is appointed U.S. Chief Sales Officer. Wuestenberg joined the U.S. business over 5 years ago and has served in several leadership positions prior to his current role in AB ONE. Most recently, Wuestenberg was the Midwest Region Vice President of Sales where, under his leadership, market share grew for three straight years following 8 years of decline and 90% of our wholesaler partners grew topline. He also previously served as the Vice President of On-Premise, where he oversaw strategic reallocation of resources and grew market share with national customers, turning around a two-year decline.

"At Anheuser-Busch we are focused on being better partners with our wholesalers and retailers, so that, together, we can continue to provide consumers with the high-quality products they love," said Wuestenberg. "I am honored to lead our best-in-class sales organization as we embark on the next phase of our journey, growing together with our partners."

Marcel Marcondes, currently U.S. Chief Marketing Officer, is transitioning to a new role within AB InBev that will be announced at a later date. Marcondes has been integral to the creation and execution of Anheuser-Busch's consumer-first strategy, revolutionizing the way that Anheuser-Busch approaches marketing. Marcondes has brought a people-first mindset to life through transformational campaigns that have propelled our brands and continue to solidify our relevance with consumers. Under his leadership, ULTRA grew to the #2 brand in volume, Anheuser-Busch delivered more than $1 Billion via new products, and Anheuser-Busch returned to the most awarded brewery in the world, with a historical record of more than 150 awards.

"Over the last four years, our Marketing organization has transformed our approach, putting consumers at the center of everything we do, and it's been an honor to lead this incredible team," said Marcondes. "Together we reconnected our brands with trends and culture, reinvented our innovation machine and built digital capabilities to match the new consumer behavior. Anheuser-Busch today is widely recognized as a leading marketing organization again and is ready for a new cycle. I know we will only continue to get better."

Benoit Garbe, currently U.S. Chief Strategy Officer, has been named U.S. Chief Marketing Officer. Garbe brings over 20 years of marketing as well as strategic brand and portfolio experience, both in the U.S. and around the world, working with companies like Diageo, Nike, LVMH, and AB InBev, as well as advising numerous CMOs in CPG, tech, hospitality and retail. Since joining Anheuser-Busch, Garbe has been instrumental in fostering a higher degree of commercial alignment and integration to support the company's strategy and accelerate growth. Additionally, Garbe's experience with data and insights, combined with his experience leveraging brand purpose, has brought a refreshed view of the company's approach to key regions and demographics to unlock consumer-centric growth.

"I am thrilled to lead the Marketing organization as we continue to accelerate our growth by creating more relevant innovations and more purposeful, human-centric brands," said Garbe.

This new Commercial structure will further strengthen Anheuser-Busch's U.S. commercial team optimizing its operations and accelerate the company's journey to Lead Future Growth.