AB InBev begins the process to replace longtime chief Carlos Brito

Budweiser and Stella Artois producer Anheuser-Busch InBev to replace Brazilian CEO Carlos Brito who led his transformation as the world’s largest brewery through a series of takeovers during his 16-year tenure Has initiated a process for

Winemakers are seriously considering outside candidates for the role, according to three people about the case, what would be an important step for a company that prides itself on its homegrown culture.

Two of these people said that AB InBev was working on the search with recruitment firm Spencer Stuart. One of the people said that Mr Brito was involved with the AB Inbay board in the process and planned to step in at some point next year.

The reason for the external search is that AB InBev is currently considering only one internal candidate, Michelle Dokaris, who heads its North America-based Anheuser-Busch business, these people added. Other candidates previously tipped as potential candidates, such as Chief Strategy Officer David Almeida and Chief Marketing Officer Pedro Earp.

It is also possible that Mr Brito remains in charge for a long time if the company does not sit on the candidate from the search, one of the people said. This person said that Mr Brito was expected to join the company’s board after stepping down.

AB InBev declined to comment.

The company has already replaced its Chief Financial Officer and Chairman over the last 18 months. The changes in Abby InBev’s leadership come as the £ 79bn acquisition of SABMiller continues to grapple with a heavy debt load, ending a nearly two-decade deal that gave it a dominant position in the brewing industry.

Marty Barrington, the former chief executive of Algeria, a leading tobacco group, was ousted by finance chief Felipe Dutra by finance chief Fernando Tenenboom at the company’s Brazilian unit less than a year after he was given the role of chairman.

After reaching a record high before the SABMiller deal in 2015, shares of AB InBev have now sat more than 60 percent below that level as investors worry about its debt burden, which totaled $ 87.4bn at the end of June. , Or stood with 4.9 times earnings.

After another cut in 2018, it halved its final dividend in April; It is also making disposals to help pay off debt, including selling its Australian division from $ 11 billion to Asahi this year.

The end of the era for a ripening industry following the departure of Mr. Brito, this year also saw Jean-François van Boxmaker’s Heineken step in. Like Mr. Brito, Mr. van Boxmaker pushed for a global brewery during a period of busy consolidation in the region.

Mr. Brito led what had been the expansion of a Latin American regional brewery into the world’s largest beer producer, full of aggressive bargaining, a bonus-led staff culture and fierce cost-cutting on the businesses it earned.

Any successor would need to win the approval of two major blocks of shareholders – the Belgian family that formerly controlled Interbridge and the three Brazilian founders of the 3G capital. Other major shareholders include the tobacco group Altria and the Santo Domingo family of Colombia.

Mr Britto’s alcoholism career began in 1989, when he was joined by Brazilian brewer Brahma, working for his mentor George Paulo Lemon, founder of the private equity firm 3G, which led to his Stanford education Had paid for

Brahma transformed into regional brewer Ambe and began to lead the deal, of which in 2004 Mr. Brito became chief executive. The same year the company merged with InterBrave of Belgium to form InBev, the creator of Stab Artois; Four years later it staged a hostile takeover of American powerhouse Anheuser-Busch to become a global enemy.