Heineken Reshuffles Asia, Europe Management After APB Takeover

Heineken NV, the world’s third-largest brewer, said today it will reorganize its management committee after agreeing to purchase full control of its Asia Pacific Breweries Ltd. unit.

Heineken, which paid S$5.6 billion ($4.5 billion) to buy out its joint venture partner’s stake in APB to gain total ownership of its south-east Asian brewery operations, said that ABP Chief Executive Officer Roland Pirmez will join its executive committee as president of Asia Pacific. It also named Alexis Nasard, current chief commercial officer, as president of its Western Europe unit and chief marketing officer.

Nasard’s dual role “appears to indicate a stronger focus on top-line growth in Western Europe going forward,” Ian Shackleton, an analyst at Nomura in London, wrote today. “We are starting to see him as a potential successor as group CEO.”

Western Europe represented about 43 percent of Heineken’s revenue last year. Heineken said in October that third-quarter consolidated beer volume fell 2.6 percent in the region, excluding acquisitions and disposals, as economic pressures weighed on consumer spending. Didier Debrosse, currently head of the region, will become managing director of its Brazil operations. The CCO role will cease to exist.

Heineken, based in Amsterdam, appointed Stefan Orlowski, managing director in the U.K., to the executive committee as successor to John Nicolson, president of the Americas. Nicholson retires in July this year. Jan Derck van Karnebeek was named chief sales officer in addition to his role running central and eastern Europe.

Growth Objectives

Theo de Rond, current head of Asia Pacific for Heineken, will no longer sit on the company’s executive committee, and will represent Heineken on the boards of its businesses in Thailand, Indonesia, Japan and Vietnam as executive director, partnerships.

“Looking to the future, these significant changes will ensure that we have the people, structures and processes in place to realize our long-term growth objectives,” Chief Executive Officer Jean-Francois van Boxmeer wrote in the statement.

Heineken, which got shareholder approval to buy APB last year after a bidding war with Thai billionaire Charoen Sirivadhanabhakdi said today that it expects to make savings from the deal of about 25 million euros ($33.5 million) over two years. The company is scheduled to report results on Feb. 13.

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