Chairman of Heineken to step down

Heineken has announced its chairman of the executive board Anthony Ruys is to leave the company as part of a management shake-up. He is expected to quit in October and is not thought to have a job to go to.

Dutch newspapers have speculated that Ruys is paying the price for the company’s recent poor performance.

He will be replaced by Jean-François van Boxmeer, who is the executive board member responsible for production for Europe and the Middle East, and will take over as chief executive and chairman.

The shake-up is also thought to have resulted in Heineken streamlining its geographical areas of operation from six to five. The brewer is planning to appoint new managing directors for each of the five operations.

Profits at the company fell by 33 per cent last year and there have already been warnings that they may slide in 2005 as well.

It is not yet clear how the boardroom changes will affect the structure of the company in the UK, where Iain Newell was recently appointed as marketing director. Newell joined Heineken last month from Interbrew, where he held the post of UK and Ireland innovations manager.

Advertising for Heineken in the UK is handled by Clemmow Hornby Inge (MW July 29, 2004).

Two years ago the stronger continental version of the Heineken brand was launched in the UK after Whitbread stopped brewing the weaker lager.

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