BELGIUM: InBev dismisses Brazilian bias claims
Brewing giant InBev has dismissed accusations that Belgian executives are being pushed out of the company in favour of managers from Latin American unit AmBev.
InBev, which was formed in a 2004 merger between Interbrew and AmBev, has faced criticism that the balance between its top management is shifting towards executives from Brazil.
The claims have gathered pace as InBev, the world's largest brewer, has integrated its Interbrew and AmBev businesses around the globe.
The brewer's CEO and CFO are both Brazilian and today (15 November) a Belgian newspaper, La Libre Belgique, said another top Belgian InBev executive was to leave the company. Technical director Andre Weckx has resigned from InBev after 25 years and will be replaced by AmBev veteran Claudio Braz Ferro on 1 January next year.
However, an InBev spokesperson brushed off the claims that Belgian executives were being pushed out of the company's top management. "It is InBev's desire to foster a truly global organisation and bring together experience from around the world," she told just-drinks. "When choosing our leadership, we aim to select the right person for the job, regardless of nationality. We put in place the best team possible to execute our strategy and to achieve our objectives."
The spokesperson said there is still "an important number" of Belgians throughout its top management. Three of InBev's five "zone" presidents were Belgian, she said.
She added: "InBev has created tremendous career opportunities for many Belgian colleagues, be it at our global headquarters in Leuven or in various places across the globe."
Sources close to InBev acknowledged that some of the company's employees had become "uncomfortable" with changes at the brewer since the merger two years ago.
One source said: "All the changes at InBev over the last few years have led to change in structures and ways of working. By definition, people feel uncomfortable with change, and some will prefer to continue their careers elsewhere. Many others, however, are excited to be part of further growing the company."
The source added: "A large part of a company's success is based on how effectively and efficiently it manages its assets. Many strong competitors are trying to do exactly the same."
InBev has posted a strong lift in profits for its first quarter. The global brewer said today (10 May) that net profit for the first three months of this year leapt by 69% year-on-year, reaching EUR28...
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InBev is continuing to consider possible acquisitions in Latin America....
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InBev has said that it has "no plans" to restart the tender for the outstanding shares in Argentina-based brewer Quinsa....
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