Share article:
Share article:

Carlos Brito will step down as AB InBev CEO in July

Carlos Brito. © Belga

Carlos Brito, CEO of AB InBev, the world’s largest brewer, is to step down from his post with effect from July.

Brito is 60, and has been at the helm of InBev for 15 years, seeing it through the biggest revolution in Belgian beer since the switch from gruit to hops. In 2008, InBev took over Anheuser Busch, brewer of Budweiser. It was almost a case of a mouse swallowing an elephant, added the AB to the company’s name, and turned the Leuven-based Belgian brewery into the biggest producer of beer in the world.

Four years later he added Grupo Modelo, which brews Corona beer, and business magazine Barron’s named him CEO of the year for the way the $7 billion price tag for that acquisition was soon paid for by cost-cutting and synergy.

Another four years, and in 2016 AB InBev, standing at number one, took over SABMiller, the number two. After that, the company was untouchable in the number one slot. But it came at a cost: £79 billion, or 50% more than the value of SABMiller shares at the time.

Since then the company has struggled with debt, worth $82.7 billion at the end of last year. It sold off its Australian activities to build down debt, but the problem remains.

The share price reflects the turn in AB InBev’s fortunes. In 2016, just after the SABMiller acquisition, the shares stood at €122; the price is now €58.

Brito will be replaced by a fellow Brazilian – Michel Doukeris, currently a leading executive of the American branch, and the man responsible for the development of hard seltzers, which arrive in Belgium just months before their creator.

After a careful and rigorous selection process, the board of directors is delighted that the next CEO is from our own reserve of leadership talent,” said chairman Martin Barrington in a press release. “Michel is the right leader to take the company to the next stage of organic growth and success.”

Latest news

More than one billion coronavirus vaccines exported by EU
The European Union (EU) has exported more than one billion coronavirus vaccines globally over the past ten months, of which just under one-tenth was ...
SNCB brings free little libraries to stations
The Belgian railway company SNCB is adding free little libraries to its stations. The “book boxes,” as they’re called, allow passengers to grab a ...
Belgium in Brief: What Is Bouncing Back?
What do you think of when you think of a country "bouncing back" after a crisis?  Cambridge Dictionary says it is "to start to be successful again ...
Café patron stabs manager after being asked to see proof of vaccination
A customer stabbed a café manager in Brussels on Saturday after being asked to show his Covid Safe Ticket (CST), according to Bruzz. Asking to see ...
Belgium to simplify administrative processes with ‘digital wallet’
The federal government wants to create an online "wallet" for all people living in Belgium which would bundle all official documents, from visas to ...
‘Start of infection wave’: Flanders to turn red on European map again
Flanders will turn red on the map of the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) again this week, as the daily average of new ...
Staff strike at application centre for asylum seekers
The staff of an application centre for asylum seekers in Brussels began a 24-strike on Monday morning, meaning that no one can apply for asylum there ...
Bpost plans to merge parcel and letter services in Belgium
The new CEO of Bpost – Belgium's primary mail delivery company and one of the country's largest civilian employers – has decided to merge the ...
Belgian playground bullying drama wins at London Film Festival
Playground (original title 'Un Monde'), the first feature film by Belgian director Laura Wandel, was awarded the top prize in the First Feature ...
Will Brussels bounce back?
The lockdowns have tested the city and forced it to confront key questions about its future. Derek Blyth looks back at an extraordinary moment in our ...
Brussels launches initiatives to improve cyclist and pedestrian safety
Two new initiatives are being developed in Brussels to make the city safer and more pedestrian and cyclist-friendly, especially around key areas on ...
Vaccination coverage in Wallonia breaks 70 percent
The Wallonia Region in Belgium has reached the milestone of having 70 percent of its population receive at least one shot of a Covid-19 vaccine, ...