The head of marketing at Anheuser-Busch InBev resigned recently after the St. Louis-based company reported a drop in the sales of Bud Light as the backlash continues from an April 1 Instagram post.
Anheuser-Busch in a statement said Benoit Garbe, U.S. chief marketing officer, “will be resigning at the end of the year in order to embark on a new chapter in his career,” according to CNN.
Garbe has been in this position since September 2021, according to his LinkedIn profile. Prior to that, he was chief strategy officer from November 2020 to August 2021.
Kyle Norrington, U.S. chief commercial officer, will be in charge of marketing.
In the third quarter, Anheuser-Busch suffered a 13.5% drop in revenue per 100 liters, CNN reported. According to May sales numbers, Modelo Especial eclipsed Bud Light as the No. 1 selling beer in America.
The fall of Bud Light, which had held the No. 1 spot for more than two decades, came due to boycotts after an Instagram post April 1 from Dylan Mulvaney, a transgender influencer, with a customized Bud Light can to promote a contest.
The moving of executives will “reduce layers within our organization and better enable our top commercial leaders to drive our business and legacy forward,” Brendan Whitworth, Anheuser-Busch CEO, said in a statement cited by CNN.
Sales to U.S. retailers dropped almost 17% “primarily due to the volume decline of Bud Light,” the company said. Anheuser-Busch in response made deals with wholesalers, including writing checks to distributors, and increasing marketing spend on the brand, CNN reported. Those moves, however, hurt the bottom line and were part of a 29% drop in adjusted U.S. earnings.
More than 40% of lapsed Bud Light customers are willing to give it another chance, according to the company’s research, Anheuser-Busch InBev CEO Michel Doukeris said at a recent third-quarter earnings call. “This gives us some certainty that we are moving in the right direction,” he said, saying sales have been getting better. “We have a good grip on what we need to do and how we are proceeding from here.”
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