Anheuser-Busch InBev loses US marketing chief -report

Anheuser-Busch InBev loses US marketing chief -report

Anheuser-Busch InBev's head of marketing in the US has left the brewer.

Keith Levy, the vice-president of marketing at Anheuser-Busch, left his position with immediate effect yesterday (6 January), said the Budweiser brewer. It said that Levy, who has been with A-B since 1987 and led marketing operations following its US$52bn takeover by InBev in 2008, has left to "pursue other opportunities".

No explanation was given for the sudden nature of his departure or the timing of the move, which comes as the Budweiser brewer is finalising its advertising for the upcoming 2011 Super Bowl.

"We thank Keith for his contributions to our company and wish him the best in his next endeavours," said the president of Anheuser-Busch, Dave Peacock. Frank Abenante, A-B InBev's global vice president for brands and insights, has taken temporary charge of US marketing operations.

A-B InBev has made the rebirth of its Budweiser brand in a lacklustre US beer market a key priority in the last year. However, the group failed to increase its US beer volumes in the third quarter of 2010, despite having handed out free Budweiser to half a million consumers in the quarter.  

"The leadership of our marketing is key to our growth and to exceeding our consumers’ expectations," said Peacock. The brewer has begun searching for a permanent replacement for Levy.