Heineken has restructured its top management, in a move that includes the retirement of current CEO and chairman Thony Ruys from October this year.

Karl Büche, member of the executive board responsible for Brau Union, will also retire from the business on the same date..

Thony Ruys will be succeeded by Jean François van Boxmeer, currently member of the executive board responsible for Production, Eastern Europe, North-West Europe, Heineken Netherlands, Greece and Africa and the Middle East.

The company will create a more streamlined executive board comprising three roles instead of the current five. The three members of the new Executive Board will be Jean François van Boxmeer, as chairman and CEO, Marc Bolland as COO and René Hooft Graafland as CFO.

Heineken also announced that it will create five operating regions: Western Europe, Central and Eastern Europe, The Americas, Africa and the Middle East and Asia-Pacific. Each region will be headed by a regional president who will report to Marc Bolland, in the new role of COO.

Alongside this, the will create new 'group director' roles with consolidated and clearly defined areas of responsibility.  All non-financial group directors will report to the CEO. All financial and the group IT director roles will report to the CFO.

All Executive Board and management changes will be effective from the 1st of October 2005.

Thony Ruys, chairman of the Executive Board said: "Over the last decade, we have dramatically transformed Heineken. We have more than doubled our volumes, tripled our operating profit,  and significantly increased our global presence. The time is clearly right to create a new management structure that will drive and support the next phase of our growth. The changes we are announcing today will do exactly that."

Jean François van Boxmeer added: "Heineken is the world's leading international premium beer brand. The chance to lead such an iconic business and build on the significant contribution that Thony has made, is the opportunity of a lifetime."