Heineken has appointed a new managing director for its Russian unit.

The brewer confirmed today (16 July) that Dimitar Alexiev will become the head of Heineken Russia from 25 August. Alexiev replaces Roland Pirmez, who has recently moved to become CEO of Asia Pacific Breweries, Heineken's joint venture with Fraser & Neave in Asia.

Heineken said that Alexiev, who has been general manager of the brewer's business in the Slovak Republic since 2005, will be based in St. Petersburg and will report to the regional president of Central & Eastern Europe, Nico Nusmeier.

Alexiev joined Heineken in 1995 as general manager of Zagorka Brewery, the brewer's joint venture operation with Coca Cola Hellenic Bottling Company in Bulgaria.

Earlier this year, Heineken was forced to clarify claims that it expected growth in Russia this year to come in below last year. A spokesperson clarified that, whilst its executive Viktor Pyatko had spoken to Russian press about beer growth in his home market, he had done so in his role of deputy chairman of the Russian Brewery Association, and not in his capacity as a Heineken executive. The comments about growth rates, therefore, had been made about the general Russian market and not about Heineken's performance there.