The president of Sleeman Breweries has stepped down, along with three other senior executives, according to reports.

Canadian press reported yesterday (18 December) that Rick Knudson, the Canadian brewer's president and COO, is to be replaced by Kenny Sadai, who will join Sleeman from its owners, Sapporo Breweries.

John Sleeman, the brewer's CEO, confirmed the move in an interview with local press, but did not disclose details of the three other executives affected by the restructuring. The company promoted two junior employees to more senior roles, and filled the other two spots with Sadai and another Sapporo employee, he said.

"Certainly, the fact that Sapporo is our new owner and they've slotted in a couple of their folks, that wouldn't happen, I suppose, if Sapporo hadn't bought us," Sleeman said in the interview.

The moves were partly a cost-cutting measure, he added. "If you look at a jigsaw puzzle, certainly we have some tremendous cost increases coming our way," Sleeman said. "We already have pretty expensive beer in Canada, so cost-cutting is one of the things that plays into it in conjunction with giving other people a chance to move up and giving some international people some Canadian experience."

John Sleeman was not immediately available for further comment when contacted by just-drinks today.

Sapporo secured a 96% stake in Sleeman Breweries in October last year, in a takeover worth in the region of C$300m (US$263.3m).