In a surprise announcement, Anheuser-Busch revealed that its U.S. marketing chief Benoit Garbe will be resigning at the end of the year. Garbe, who has been in charge of the company’s U.S. portfolio of beers, canned cocktails, and non-alcoholic beverages since 2021, will be leaving to pursue new opportunities in his career. This news comes after the company’s recent sales disaster and backlash following its marketing campaign with trans-identifying influencer Dylan Mulvaney.
According to Anheuser-Busch CEO Brendan Whitworth, the resignation is part of a larger restructuring within the company, aimed at streamlining its operations and allowing top commercial leaders to drive the business forward. As a result of this, Chief Commercial Officer Kyle Norrington will take over Garbe’s duties in the new year.
Garbe’s resignation follows the exits of two other prominent executives at Anheuser-Busch, Vice President of Bud Light marketing Alissa Heinerscheid and Group Vice President of the company’s mainstream portfolio Daniel Blake, who were placed on leave after the controversy surrounding the Dylan Mulvaney campaign emerged.
Earlier this year, Mulvaney partnered with Bud Light to sell its beer, but the collaboration was met with widespread backlash and a boycott of the brand. This led to a significant drop in sales, and Bud Light lost its long-held position as the top-selling beer in America.
Mulvaney recently spoke out against the backlash and urged companies to forge genuine partnerships with trans-identifying individuals, rather than using their identities for performative marketing. He also called for companies to support these partnerships, even in the face of criticism.
— New York Post (@nypost) November 16, 2023
This news comes as Anheuser-Busch is facing increased competition in the beer market and struggling to bounce back from the sales decline caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The departure of Benoit Garbe, along with the other leadership changes, is expected to help Anheuser-Busch refocus its efforts and regain its position as a top player in the beverage industry. The company remains committed to brewing great beer for everyone and earning its place in moments that matter, according to CEO Brendan Whitworth.