Anheuser-Busch has said it is “pleased” after a US jury found the company did not discriminate against its former top female executive who claimed she was paid half as much as her male predecessor. 

In the lawsuit, Francine Katz had sought US$9.4m in back pay and damages, plus $5m in interest and punitive damages from the Anheuser-Busch InBev-owned unit. Katz, 56, earned around $1m after being promoted to be the brewer's communications & consumers affairs VP, as well as sitting on the company's strategy committee, the Associated Press reported.

However, her base salary was half of that paid to her predecessor, John Jacob. Anheuser-Busch argued that Jacob had significantly more responsibilities, which included a non-official role as an adviser to former CEO August Busch III.

During the three-week court proceedings, Katz's legal team also claimed she was the victim of a boys-club mentality that saw her excluded from corporate jets, corporate golf outings and other social activities, it was reported.

On Friday the jury of seven men and five women rejected the claim of discrimination and found in favour of the brewer. 

In a statement, Anheuser-Busch said: “We are pleased with the verdict, and the jury’s acknowledgment that Francine Katz was always treated and compensated fairly during her 20 years of employment at Anheuser-Busch.

“Anheuser-Busch always has been and always will be committed to treating our employees fairly and consistent with the highest standards.”