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Budweiser bottles in a shelf (Photo: Liv Hema, Unsplash)
23 March 2021

Doukeris to succeed Brito at AB-InBev?

Belgium | Belgian media seem to take it for granted that Michel Doukeris, 47, will succeed Carlos Brito, 60, as CEO of AB-InBev before the brewer’s next Annual General Meeting scheduled for 28 April 2021. How can they be so sure?

Well, a piece on Bloomberg (26 February 2021) had argued that Mr Doukeris is the internal candidate favoured by the board to replace Mr Brito. Bloomberg merely echoed what the Financial Times newspaper had already said in September 2020.

That AB-InBev did not seriously consider a woman for the position, given the lack of them in top roles both within AB-InBev and among its peers, was criticised by Bloomberg’s Ruth Davis on 4 March.

She wrote: “The percentage of female executives at the brewer is a woeful 5 percent, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. That compares with an average ratio of 17 percent among its industry peers, not exactly something to rave about.” She concludes that in 2021 it is not acceptable to blame the apparent lack of a pipeline of potential female leaders for white, male leadership.

Rising through the ranks

If Mr Doukeris lands the top job, he will probably shrug off the grumblings of a feminist. Because he will have more urgent issues to deal with: like invigorating the brewer’s sales and reducing its mountainous debt pile.

The Brazilian has worked for AB-InBev since 1996. After studying chemistry and marketing in his home country and the US, he joined AB-InBev’s Brazilian subsidiary AmBev. In 2009 he moved to China, where he was made Zone President Asia Pacific three years later. He also developed the brewer’s e-commerce strategy, which is benefiting AB-InBev during the corona crisis.

After his achievements in Asia, Mr Doukeris was sent to the US, where he became Zone President North America in 2018. This market represents a quarter of AB-InBev’s sales and profits. He manages 24 breweries and works with 400 distributors.