Heineken to combine marketing and sales roles in organisational shakeup
Heineken is combining its global chief marketing officer and chief sales officer roles to create the position of chief commercial officer, one of a number of organisational changes announced today (31 March) to “accelerate strategy delivery”, according to the company.
Jan Derck van Karnebeek, currently global chief sales officer and president of Central and Eastern Europe, will take the new position of chief commercial officer when the changes come into place on 1 July, while Alexis Nasard, currently global CMO and regional president of Western Europe, will leave the company at the end of June.
The company will also phase out the role of chief strategy officer in a move to form a “leaner management group” which it will rename the “Executive Team”, and will regroup its business around four geographic regions, including a single Europe region.
The restructure is part of an effort to “eliminate duplication, streamline processes and simplify decision-making”, according to the company, as it looks to focus on growth opportunities, respond better to consumer needs and be more cost-effective.
Heineken’s sales have been struggling lately in the declining beer category.
The company’s December results showed total consolidated sales had dropped by 4.1% in the quarter in the UK and Western Europe, with total consolidated beer volume dropping by 4.7% and global sales falling by 1.5% to £4bn.
The brewer isn’t the first to bring its marketing and sales teams closer together in order to improve its business.
Pernod Ricard last year axed its CMO and brand managing director roles when it announced a new division set to unify its marketing and sales at group level to foster what it called a “holistic approach of the consumer decision”.
The move was part of a cost-saving drive aimed at improving operational efficiency.
Jean-François van Boxmeer, CEO of Heineken said of the company’s move: “The changes announced today will make us a more agile organisation. Our management structure will be flatter, our operating companies more empowered and our cost of doing business lower.”
IMHO this is a reversion to the selling concept which has been abandoned by many firms in favour of a marketing concept or the more advanced societal marketing concept.
Perhaps this is Heineken’s response to the commoditisation of it’s offering which in my mind could explain their falling sales.
The alcohol marketing environment requires new marketing capabilities; new marketing structures with new skills as Heineken has done with its restructuring. We’ve had a look on the marketing transformation for alcoholic beverage brands in general, have a look here: http://www.flock-associates.com/marketing-transformation-alcoholic-beverage-brands/