Amidst a prolonged sales slump in North America — including a 6.2% decline in the third quarter this year — Anheuser-Busch has named a new North American CEO.
Michel Doukeris will replace outgoing CEO, João Castro, effective Jan. 1, 2018. Doukeris currently serves as Chief Sales Officer of AB InBev.
The company has suffered sales declines for three consecutive years now, as more American consumers trade up for craft brews, especially regional and small-batch options, rather than macro light lagers like Budweiser.
Doukeris played a role in launching The High End, AB’s new craft division. This encompasses in-house brands like Goose Island and Shock Top, along with microbreweries the company has recently acquired, such as Blue Point, Elysian, Golden Road, and Breckenridge.
“The US is our most important market and we recognize the need to continue to focus on driving topline growth across our portfolio,” says Carlos Brito, CEO of AB InBev. “Michel has extensive experience delivering results for our business worldwide, including helping to grow Budweiser globally and launching The High End business strategy, which now represents 5 billion USD of sales. He is the ideal person to lead North America at this time, together with an emerging group of leaders being elevated in the company.”
Doukeris joined the company in 1996. He held sales positions of increasing responsibility before becoming Vice President Soft Drinks for the Latin America North Zone in 2008. He was appointed President AB InBev China in January 2010 and Zone President Asia Pacific in January 2013.
During his tenure in China, Doukeris oversaw Budweiser’s rapid growth, helping to make China Budweiser’s largest growth market.
Doukeris championed the creation of The High End, first created in China and the U.S., and then expanded to 22 countries around the world during his tenure as Chief Sales Officer.
Castro leaves the company after 22 years.