InBev has said it is hoping to catch up its competitors in China through its recent executive changes in the country.

The brewer said yesterday (17 September) that the current zone president for North America, Miguel Patricio, will move to assume the position of zone president for InBev in Asia Pacific. Patricio will replace Dirk Moens in the role, who has been appointed chairman of InBev China.

Speaking to just-drinks today, a spokesperson for InBev said the creation of the new role of InBev China chairman was made with a view to pick up speed in a market where it has been behind its global competitors. "We've been growing a little bit behind the market in China," the spokesperson said. "By strengthening the team in the country, Patricio will focus exclusively on operations in the zone, while Moens has a very credible reputation in China, where relationships with the Government and our joint ventures are extremely important."

The spokesperson contested that Moen's new job was a demotion from zone president for Asia Pacific. "It is a change for him," she said, "but we wanted to have someone in place who can dedicate himself to maintaining and building on our relationships in the country."

The changes are scheduled to take place at the beginning of next year.