AB Inbev chief executive Carlos Brito is stepping down after 15 years in the top job, marking the end of an era for the brewing giant.
Brito, who has worked at the company for 32 years, is credited with transforming the company from a regional Brazilian brewery into the world’s largest beer maker.
He will step down on 1 July and will be replaced by Michel Doukeris, currently president of the group’s North American business.
It is the latest change of leadership at AB Inbev, which owns brands including Stella Artois, Budweiser and Corona, after the departures of finance chief Felipe Dutra last year and chair Olivier Goudet in 2019.
“We are grateful to Brito for his tremendous service and leadership,” said AB Inbev chair Martin Barrington.
“Among his many accomplishments, Brito was the architect who led and built AB Inbev into the world’s leading beer company and a leading global consumer packaged goods company by masterfully integrating the many businesses that comprise AB Inbev today.”
Brito tenure at the brewer was characterised by a series of mergers, growing the company through takeovers of US group Anheuser-Busch and British rival SAB Miller.
AB Inbev said its board had unanimously elected Doukeris following a “rigorous and robust” selection process.
It came as AB Inbev reported a 17 per cent rise in revenue for the first quarter with underlying profit of $1.1bn.
The brewer recorded 13.3 per cent growth in total volumes as the easing of coronavirus restrictions around the world sparked an increase in socialising.
“The world could do with a pint this summer, and investors will be hoping the pandemic is under sufficient control for us to let our hair down a little,” said William Ryder, equity analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown.
“We think this tailwind and the favourable comparisons with last year will keep AB InBev ‘growing’ for the next few quarters. But as the headline figures may flatter, it’ll be important to keep an eye on brand strength metrics and cost discipline over this period as well.”