Anheuser-Busch’s US marketing chief plans to resign as the brewer continues to grapple with sharp sales drops following its disastrous Bud Light campaign with transgender influencer Dylan Mulvaney.
Benoit Garbe, chief marketing officer for the embattled company’s US portfolio of beers, canned cocktails and non-alcoholic beverages since 2021, “will be resigning at the end of the year in order to embark on a new chapter in his career,” Anheuser-Busch confirmed in a statement to The Post.
Kyle Norrington, Anheuser-Busch’s US Chief Commercial Officer, will take over Garbe’s duties in the new year, the company said, which was earlier reported on by CNN.
Anheuser-Busch CEO Brendan Whitworth said: “This week we announced key changes to our US leadership team that reduce layers within our organization and better enable our top commercial leaders to drive our business and legacy forward.”
“These senior leadership changes will accelerate our return to growth as we continue to focus on what we do best—brewing great beer for everyone and earning our place in moments that matter,” he added in Anheuser-Busch’s statement to The Post.
Bud Light was dethroned this summer as the top-selling beer in the US by Mexican import Modelo, which came months after Mulvaney’s April 1 Instagram post showing off a custom Bud Light can the Anheuser-Busch brand sent her to celebrate “365 Days of Girlhood.”
In the immediate wake of Mulvaney’s controversial posts, the brewer said it put Alissa Heinerscheid, Bud Light’s marketing VP, and group VP of Anheuser-Busch’s mainstream portfolio, Daniel Blake, on a leave of absense.
However, a current regional head of marketing told the Daily Caller that Heinerscheid and Blake were actually “gone gone,” and the brand just didn’t want to use the word “fire” — an allegation Anheuser-Busch has denied.
Since Mulvaney’s fateful posts, Bud Light and its parent company have hemorrhaged billions of dollars since the partnership went live.
Recently, the largest brewer in the world said US revenues fell nearly 14% from July through September, while sales in Europe were “soft.”
Also in September, “Bud Light [is] still just stubbornly down around 30% in volume compared to last year, which is where it’s been since May or June,” Beer Business Daily publisher Harry Schuhmacher told Fox News Digital at the time.
“That tells me that this is quasi-permanent, meaning those consumers are just lost forever.”
Bud Light is down 26.9% in dollars and 30.3% in volume, Schuhmacher said, citing a study by Bump Williams Consulting.
The publisher believes it is “likely” the company will continue to see similar year-over-year declines for the “foreseeable future.”
Many other beer experts have agreed that a core group of Bud Light’s longtime customers have left the brand for good.
The company, however, seems to be confident in Bud Light’s brand recovery.
Michel Doukeris, the CEO of Anheuser-Busch parent AB InBev cited a study conducted by the company during a call discussing the company’s third-quarter results on Tuesday, which said more than 40% of lapsed Bud Light customers said they’re willing to give the brand another chance.
“This gives us some certainty that we are moving in the right direction,” Doukeris said, according to CNN. “We have a good grip on what we need to do and how we are proceeding from here.”
Management has also said that Bud Light is continuing to stick to uncontroversial marketing campaigns in the US, including offering scholarships to military families.
The company also announced a multiyear, $100 million sponsorship deal last month with the Ultimate Fighting Championship in an apparent ploy to lure back some of its American consumer base, where some of its other beer brands, including Budweiser and Michelob Ultra, also experienced sales declines.