AB InBev names new UK boss as Plochaet leaves

Anheuser-Bush InBev’s (AB InBev) has drafted in former UK and Ireland executive Steve McAllister as its new president to oversee strategy in the crucial market as it looks to maintain the marketing-led sales momentum for its Budweiser and Stella Artois brands.

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AB InBev has appointed a new president to oversee the growth of brands such as Budweiser in the UK.

He replaces Inge Plochaet, who is leaving after 20 years at the brewer. Plochaet’s departure sees McAllister assume oversight for all aspects of the company’s operations across the region including its marketing and commercial strategies.

McAllister returns to the UK after leaving to head up the company’s Germany, Italy, Spain and Austria businesses at the start of 2014. He previously served as managing director for take home retail in the UK for several years before being promoted to the divisional director for multiple off-trade in 2009. The appointment was part of a senior management shuffle that saw McAllister help foster a more integrated internal structure.

During his time in the UK, he worked on high-profile campaigns including the launch of oak-aged beer Eiken Artois into the off-trade in 2008.

Plochaet, who was promoted to the role in 2011, departs at the end of the year to “pursue other career interests”, the company said. In a statement the brewer added it was “sorry” to see her leave but praised her “lasting contributions” to the business.

As president of the UK and Ireland, she oversaw the company’s move into the fast-growing spirit beer category with the launch of Cubanisto earlier this year as well as flavour extensions for its popular Stella Artois Cidre brand. Plochaet had previously served as commercial chief for Western Europe, steering AB InBev’s first cross-country brand promotions.

AB InBev will be hoping the transition delivers minimum disruption to the business as it looks to carry over strong momentum from the summer into the festive period and beyond. Sales climbed 13.5 per cent in its latest quarter and by 8.1 per cent in the first half of the year as market share and volume gains for Budweiser and Stella Artois propelled the business.

The brewer credited its World Cup and Wimbledon “themed promotions” for driving both brands alongside strong on and off-trade promotional strategies.

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