Carlsberg has seen the head of its Italian business leave the company amid "tough" conditions in the country's beer market, the brewer said today (15 January).

Carlsberg Italia CEO Claudio Riva has left the company and been replaced by Boguslaw Bartczak, a senior executive from the brewer's Western European operations.

Bartczak, who joined Carlsberg in Poland six years ago, has been the brewer's vice president for business development since February last year.

Alex Myers, senior vice president for Carlsberg in the region, refused to go into the personal reasons for Riva's departure but said the brewer has faced challenges at the wholesale level over the last three years.

"Bartczak's background in operations, logistics, route-to-market and the supply chain will help the business a lot," Myers told just-drinks. "The Italian market has been challenging and we have found some pressure at the wholesale level. While we have seen improvements, there is some way to go."

Carlsberg, which has two breweries in Italy, holds around 10% of the market and is one of the top four brewers in Italy, Myers said. He declined to give figures on Carlsberg's sales in Italy.

Last week, Heineken said it would close a bottling site on the island of Sicily. The Dutch brewing giant said that some 50 jobs are under threat.