Anheuser-Busch InBev CFO to Step Down; Replacement Named

The long-rumored exit of Anheuser-Busch InBev CFO Felipe Dutra was officially announced today.

The world’s largest beer manufacturer revealed that Dutra will step down from his role as chief financial and technology officer, effective April 29 following the company’s annual shareholder meeting.

Dutra will be supplanted by Fernando Tennenbaum, the vice president of finance for A-B’s South American division.

The Financial Times reported in early January that A-B’s board had discussed replacing Dutra amid frustrations over the company’s performance following the 2016 MegaBrew merger with SABMiller that left the company with more than $100 billion of debt.

A-B InBev CEO Carlos Brito, in a press release, called Dutra’s contributions to the company “hard to overstate.”

“Since becoming CFO in 1999 of what was then Brahma, he has embodied the spirit of true ownership and has been the architect of our company’s financial strategy, our risk management policy and our drive to deliver best-in-class cash flow and shareholder value,” he said. “Felipe’s contributions to our value creation are significant and wide-ranging.”

Dutra was named CFO in 1999 of Brazil-based Companhia Cervejaria Brahma and remained in that role through a series of mergers and acquisitions: Brahma and Antarctica merged to form Ambev in 1999; Ambev and Belgian Interbrew merged to from InBev in 2004; InBev acquired A-B to form Anheuser-Busch InBev in 2008; and A-B InBev acquired SABMiller in 2016.

“It has been an honor to be part of this company for nearly 30 years,” Dutra said in therelease. “I was fortunate enough to participate in our transformation from being a Brazilian local champion into one of the world’s most successful consumer goods companies.”

Meanwhile, Tennenbaum brings 15 years of experience at A-B InBev to the CFO role. He currently serves as chief financial and investor relations officer of Ambev S.A., the company’s Brazilian subsidiary. He is a dual German and Brazilian citizen and has also worked in the company’s finance, M&A and investor relations areas.

“With deep functional expertise and strong technical knowledge, he is uniquely qualified to lead our finance function and actively support topline growth through solid financial management,” Brito said in the release. “Fernando’s mandate will be to ensure A-B InBev continues to invest behind the organic growth of the business while deleveraging toward the optimal capital structure.”

Other changes to A-B InBev’s executive suite include the promotion of Nelson Jamel, A-B’s VP of finance and solutions for North America, to chief people officer, and the transition of David Almeida from chief people and strategy officer to chief strategy and technology officer. Jamel and Almeida have both been with the company for 22 years, and they will report to Brito.

Following the April shareholders meeting, the company’s executive committee will include Brito, Tennenbaum, Almeida and chief legal and corporate affairs officer John Blood.

Following the announcement of the leadership shakeup at A-B, the company’s stock price remained largely unchanged after closing at $76.79 the previous day. As of press time, the stock price was down only slightly, to $76.58. That price, however, was well below the 52-week high of $102.70.

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