CNN reports that Benoit Garbe, Anheuser-Busch InBev’s US chief marketing officer, is stepping down at the end of the year, as the company continues to feel a backlash from its attempt to broaden sales by partnering with a transgender social media influencer.
The company said that Garbe was leaving "in order to embark on a new chapter in his career.”
The CNN story notes that "the world’s biggest brewer reported a 13.5% decline in third-quarter US revenue per 100 liters, a key measure of beer sales. The brand’s Bud Light customers abandoned the beer after it partnered with transgender influencer Dylan Mulvaney and botched its response to the controversy.
"The executive reshuffling will 'reduce layers within our organization and better enable our top commercial leaders to drive our business and legacy forward,' said Anheuser-Busch CEO Brendan Whitworth in a statement … The company said its US chief commercial officer Kyle Norrington will oversee marketing going forward."
- KC's View:
Whitworth is doing everything he can to stop this wave from swamping his boat, but I cannot imagine that he is going to be successful for much longer. Nor should he be - Whitworth has been a classic example of gutless, mealy-mouthed "the-buck-stops-over-there" management, unwilling to take responsibility for the company's missteps. (Though my position is that the company's real misstep was not owning the idea that it was trying to grow sales for a brand well into decline before the backlash.)
By the way, at least they didn't say that Garbe was going off to spend more time with his family. Because that always makes me wonder if his family really wants to spend more time with him.