Heineken Restructures, U.S. CEO Departs


Heineken this morning announced a number of major organizational changes, restructuring its regional strategy and leadership teams in an apparent effort to cut costs. In a press statement, Heineken USA also revealed a key shift in the executive roster of its U.S. operations, highlighted by the departure of CEO Dolf van den Brink, who will transfer to the company’s Mexico division.

In July, Van den Brink — who has served as CEO of Heineken USA for the last six years — will take over as CEO of Cuauhtémoc Moctezuma/Heineken Mexico, the brewery’s largest operating company. The company has appointed Ronald den Elzen, the current managing director of Heineken Portugal, as his successor.

“Heineken USA has a tremendous amount of potential and I believe Ronald is the right person, arriving at the right time to lead the acceleration of this business,” said van den Brink in a news release.

Den Elzen has been with Heineken for more than 20 years and has worked with the company throughout Europe, holding positions in finance, sales and general management.

On a global scale, the company also announced the consolidation of several key leadership positions.

The company’s chief marketing officer, Alexis Nasard, will depart Heineken on June 30. His position will be combined with the chief sales officer role to form one job, titled chief commercial officer. Jan Derck van Karnebeek, current president of Central and Eastern Europe and global chief sales officer, has been appointed to this newly created position.

The role of chief strategy officer will also be phased out and Chris Barrow, who currently holds the position, will leave the company in July.

Heineken also plans to regroup its business around four geographic regions by consolidating territory in the eastern hemisphere. According to a release, the existing regions of Western Europe and Central and Eastern Europe will be combined to form one European region. Stefan Orlowski, current president of Americas, has been appointed to lead the region. Additionally, the existing Africa Middle East Region will be combined with Russia and Belarus to form Africa Middle East and Eastern Europe. Roland Pirmez, president of Asia Pacific, has been tapped to lead this new region.

“The changes announced today will make us a more agile organization,” said Jean-François van Boxmeer, Chairman of the Executive Board and CEO of Heineken, in a news release detailing the changes. “Our management structure will be flatter, our operating companies more empowered and our cost of doing business lower.”