The departure of Anheuser-Busch InBev’s longtime finance chief, which had been rumored for weeks, was confirmed late Wednesday.
Felipe Dutra, who has been CFO of the Belgium-based brewer since 2005, will step down after the company’s shareholder meeting on April 29. He will be replaced by Fernando Tennenbaum, a 15-year veteran of the company and vice president of finance for AB InBev’s South America division as well as CFO of its Brazilian subsidiary, Ambev.
The Financial Times was the first to report in January that AB InBev, the world’s largest brewer and maker of Budweiser and Stella Artois among hundreds of other brands, was looking to replace Dutra.
Citing unnamed sources, FT reported that possible explanations for Dutra’s departure included mounting frustrations over the debt weighing down AB InBev’s balance sheet since the company’s 2016 acquisition of SABMiller. Still others told the newspaper that Dutra was leaving for personal reasons and was widely respected within the company. An AB InBev spokesman declined to comment further.
“Felipe’s departure is bittersweet. For nearly 30 years, he has been a champion of our company and a fantastic partner to me,” said Carlos Brito, chief executive of AB InBev, in a press release. “Felipe feels that now is the right time to embark on new projects, and we are respectful of his decision.”
The departure of Dutra, who was chief technology officer as well as CFO, is part of a wider shuffle of AB InBev’s senior leadership ranks. David Almeida, a 22-year veteran of the company who is currently chief people and strategy officer, will take over CTO duties. Nelson Jamel, currently vice president of finance and technology for the company’s North America division, will become chief people officer. All the position changes will take place after the annual shareholders’ meeting in April.
The beer company has seen sales slip in the US in recent years amid the shifting tastes of consumers away from its brands toward more niche, craft beers.
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