November 10, 2020 - St. Louis, MO - Since the beginning of 2018, Anheuser-Busch has implemented a consumer-focused commercial strategy centered on driving innovation and rebalancing their portfolio toward more premium and growing segments and brands. While the current global health crisis has accelerated many trends and changes in consumer preferences and how Anheuser-Busch operates, the continued implementation of the commercial strategy and the collective efforts and resiliency of their workforce resulted in one of the strongest quarterly performances in recent years.
Today, Anheuser-Busch is announcing several enhancements to its commercial structure in the US to put its teams even closer to the consumers they are serving. By further regionalizing the company's approach to Sales, Marketing and Distribution, Anheuser-Busch will be better positioned to win in key regional markets, accelerating commercial growth.
“Over the past three years, our entire system has risen to meet challenges and ensure that we can better capitalize on current and future opportunities and optimize our business in the years ahead,” said Michel Doukeris, CEO, Anheuser-Busch. “The evolution of our commercial structure we are sharing today, along with the addition of our new Chief Strategy Officer Benoit Garbe to our leadership team, are part of a holistic approach to accelerate our commercial momentum by positioning our teams even closer to the customers and consumers who are the lifeblood of our business.”
Today, Anheuser-Busch is announcing a change in how the company leads and manages their Wholly-Owned Distributors (WODs) with the creation of the Anheuser-Busch Sales & Distribution Co. (ABSD) – a network of A-B-owned wholesalers. The combined ABSD organization will report into Elito Siqueira, US Chief Supply Chain Officer, with a dotted line into Brendan Whitworth, US Chief Sales Officer. Simon Wuestenberg, currently Regional Vice-President, will directly lead the new organization as President, ABSD.
“With the creation of the Anheuser-Busch Sales & Distribution Company, we are driving a cohesive approach and total business ownership, ultimately opening an exciting path to sustainable top and bottom-line growth,” said Siqueira. “By integrating our A-B-owned wholesaler sales and logistics teams under unified leadership, we will strengthen our talent pipeline and further improve our customer centricity.”
Anheuser-Busch's WODs enable the company to be close to the consumer and directly detect new patterns at the point of purchase every day. WODs also allow Anheuser-Busch to pilot new consumer propositions, technology, and route-to-market approaches, and then scale those best practices to their wholesaler system.
“We have long prided ourselves on being a reliable and valuable partner to our independent wholesalers and retailers,” said Bob Tallett, VP, Business and Wholesaler Development, Anheuser-Busch. “We believe the A-B Sales & Distribution Co. will make us an even better partner to our wholesalers because we will be able to be better connected to their operational realities, leverage our scale, and develop new capabilities that will benefit our entire system.”
Anheuser-Busch is also making some important changes to the regional sales structure to better serve their partners and to create greater synergies within their own organization. The company will streamline its regional operations to 6 regions in the US, creating regions which are roughly equal in volume and revenue responsibility.
“Anheuser-Busch's overarching strategy continues to center on prioritizing our consumers – that is our retailers, wholesalers, and consumers – and structuring the organization for long-term, sustainable success,” said Whitworth. “By investing in our powerful sales organization and regionalizing our system to be closer to our customers and consumers, we are bringing an important focus on execution for our internal sales team, independent wholesaler partners and our owned distribution operations through the Anheuser-Busch Sales & Distribution Company.”
Earlier this year, the company shared that they would be opening five new regional offices for draftLine, A-B's internal creative agency. These new offices present a bigger opportunity and a chance for Anheuser-Busch to take bolder action that will allow their marketing teams to get even closer to consumers.
With that, the company is evolving its marketing organization - not just draftLine - by adopting a Regional Hub structure with A-B marketing offices located in NYC, Los Angeles, Miami, Austin and St. Louis beginning in 2021. These regional hubs will be home to multifunctional teams that will inform strategies both locally and nationally.
“Our commercial strategy is centered around our consumers, and the closer we get to our consumers, the more success we'll have,” said Marcel Marcondes, US Chief Marketing Officer, Anheuser-Busch. “With a country as large and diverse as the U.S., getting closer to consumers means understanding them on a local level. This evolution of our marketing organization presents an exciting opportunity for our people – for leadership, for new experiences, and for even better commercial integration. It is also part of our evolution as a progressive, consumer-centric company that is adapting to the new reality.”
With these changes across distribution, sales and marketing, Anheuser-Busch is investing in a regionalized approach to business, creating new opportunities for their people, building stronger connections throughout their communities, and positioning their teams to ignite the ability to lead future growth, today not tomorrow.
For more than 165 years, Anheuser-Busch has carried on a legacy of brewing great-tasting, high-quality beers that have satisfied beer drinkers for generations. Today, we own and operate 23 breweries, 14 distributorships and 23 agricultural and packaging facilities, and have more than 18,000 colleagues across the United States. We are home to several of America's most recognizable beer brands, including Budweiser, Bud Light, Michelob ULTRA and Stella Artois, as well as a number of regional brands that provide beer drinkers with a choice of the best-tasting craft beers in the industry. From responsible drinking programs and emergency drinking water donations to industry-leading sustainability efforts, we are guided by our unwavering commitment to supporting the communities we call home. For more information, visit www.anheuser-busch.com or follow Anheuser-Busch on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.
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