Top marketers leave in Inbev reorganisation

Kevan Mallinder, director of portfolio brands at InBev UK, and Mandy Bobrowski, who was in charge of innovation and special projects, are understood to be leaving, following a restructure of the beer company’s UK brands marketing team.

The restructure is to bring the UK into line as part of a global reorganisation of its marketing, to reflect a change in emphasis towards interactive, new media and “experiential” marketing.

An InBev spokesman confirms that three jobs have been cut in the marketing team bringing the total to 46, but he adds that ten people have decided to leave as a result of changes to their roles. He refused to confirm who was leaving but industry insiders suggest Mallinder and Bobrowski have both decided to go.

Devin Kelly, the company’s marketing director, admits that a significant number of staff are leaving, but adds: “Businesses change, they have to. And when that happens people have a choice about whether they stay or leave. We respect their decision and wish them all the best for the future.”

Kelly adds that the restructure is not about cutting overheads and numbers. “This is about creating a new structure which is better able to meet the needs of our ever-evolving business.” He adds that InBev UK expects its overall staff level to increase in 2007.

It is also understood that the company is splitting marketing and “point of contact” marketing.

The InBev spokesman adds that while above-the-line support for major brands such as Stella will be maintained or increased, smaller brands are likely to see a switch away from above-the-line towards below-the-line, interactive, new media and experiential campaigns.

Marketing Week exclusively revealed the restructure – the second in less than a year – in October (MW October 19). Last year’s reshuffle, prompted by the merger of the UK and Irish businesses, and a raft of new product launches, saw 18 redundancies in the UK marketing team (MW November 17), while a number of senior marketers left the company following the August 2005 merger between Belgian brewer Interbrew and Brazilian company AmBev, which created InBev.

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