AB Inbev is reducing its geographic structure from nine management zones to six.Photo: Reuters
CAPE TOWN - Anheuser-Busch InBev have announced a major shake-up of its executive structure, creating two new positions to report to the chief executive and reducing its geographic structure from nine management zones to six.

The group said the changes, which would come into effect next year, would drive growth and bring more focus to the leadership level.

It said it would spend the next few months ensuring a smooth transition to the new structure.

“We believe that by implementing these changes, we will be better equipped to accelerate growth and be more responsive to our consumers and customers, to bring them an even better experience,” the group said.

AB InBev said the new zonal presidents would be responsible for the commercial and external affairs of the businesses.

It said the executive board of management would be dissolved into an executive committee (ExCom), which would consist of chief executive Carlos Brito, chief financial and solutions officer Felipe Dutra, and chief external affairs and strategy officer, as well as general counsel and company secretary, John Blood.

AB InBev said the senior leadership team would also drive the commercial and operational agenda.

This team would be made up of the members of the ExCom, and all other functional chiefs and zone presidents, and would continue to report to Brito.

“We are making these changes to more closely align with our consumers, make our company more agile in the zones, and proactively pursue growth opportunities,” the company said.

AB InBev’s revenue for the interim period increased 4.7percent to $27.087billion (R357.7bn) compared with $27.104bn last year, while gross profit rose 5.8percent to $16.903bn from $16.430bn last year, according to the company’s statement on the Stock Exchange News Service.

Profit from continuing operations was higher at $3.595bn, compared with $3.572bn last year, while headline earnings a share remained stable at $1.49.

The company said while recognising volatility in some of its key markets, it expected to deliver strong revenue and earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation growth this year, driven by the solid performance of its brand portfolio and strong commercial plans.

“Our growth model is now far more focused on category development we remain confident that growth will accelerate in the balance of the year.”

The company also announced that the zone president for Europe, Stuart MacFarlane, had decided to leave to pursue other interests, effective May 1 next year.

“Stuart started with us in 1992 and leaves a tremendous legacy. He demonstrated relentless commitment to our people in growing our talent pipeline and to our business, by driving strong results for Europe.

“We thank Stuart for his many contributions to our company’s success and wish him the best for his future.”