AB Invev names new U.S CMO

  • Anheuser-Busch named a new chief marketer as part of a broader shuffle of its U.S. leadership team, the company announced on Tuesday.
  • Benoit Garbe, who currently serves as Anheuser-Busch’s U.S. chief strategy officer, will take on the U.S. CMO role. Current president of AB InBev-owned Labatt brewery, Kyle Norrington, will fill a new sales and marketing position, U.S. chief commercial officer. Finally, Simon Wuestenberg, who is currently the president of Anheuser-Busch’s distributor business unit AB One, has been appointed U.S. chief sales officer
  • The executive shakeup comes as the brewing company focuses more on data-driven research to drive aspects of its media strategy, including direct-to-consumer (DTC) initiatives and digital transformation.

Anheuser-Busch is shuffling its commercial leadership in an effort to bolster its consumer-first strategy, which entails using customer data to inform how best to connect with them, per the company’s most recent earnings call. Current U.S. Chief Strategy Officer Garbe will steer Anheuser-Busch’s marketing efforts across its wide-ranging beer and seltzer portfolio. Garbe previously held positions at Kantar and Diageo and will be replacing Marcel Marcondes, who will transition to a new role within the company that will be announced at a later date, per the release.

The changes to Anheuser-Busch’s commercial leadership team aim to strengthen the company’s consumer-first strategy, which has hinged on a deeper reliance on customer data. With a focus on premiumization, DTC initatives and digital transformation, Anhueser-Busch is using internal groups like its Draftline agency and e-commerce platform BEES to meet consumers alongside their changing habits.

“Each time that we get one more customer or one more consumer data on our data lake, we learn more, and we start testing more things,” CEO Michel Doukeris said on AB InBev’s most recent earnings call. “And we become much more agile, and we can implement at large scale one-to-one initiatives that before we were not able to do.”

Norrington, current president of AB InBev-owned beer Labatt in Canada and soon-to-be U.S. chief commercial officer, will oversee sales and marketing in the U.S., as the brand attempts to cater to consumers across an increasingly fragmented marketplace. Norrington previously oversaw global brands at AB InBev and helped to develop the company’s Beyond Beer portfolio through acquisitions while at Labatt.

Rounding out the executive shuffle is Simon Wuestenberg, the new U.S. chief sales officer. Wuestenberg, currently the president of distributor business unit AB One, replaces Brendan Whitworth, who was promoted to Zone President North America and chief executive of Anheuser-Busch in an executive shuffle earlier this summer.

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