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Anheuser-Busch InBev Names North America Chief Doukeris as CEO

Anheuser-Busch InBev tapped its North America chief, Michel Doukeris, to succeed Carlos Brito as CEO. The brewing giant also swung to Q1 profit.

Anheuser-Busch InBev  (BUD) - Get Anheuser-Busch Inbev SA Sponsored ADR (Belgium) Report shares rose on Thursday after it said Michel Doukeris would succeed Carlos Brito as chief executive, starting July 1.

The brewing giant also reported that it swung to a first-quarter profit from a year-earlier loss.

Brito is leaving Anheuser-Busch after 15 years as CEO and 32 years overall at the Leuven, Belgium, company.

Doukeris is assuming the CEO post after serving in lead roles at AB InBev’s businesses in Latin America, Asia-Pacific, and most recently, North America.

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Brito’s most important moves as CEO include merging Anheuser-Busch with the Belgian-Brazilian group InBev. And in 2016, he led the more than $100 billion buyout of SABMiller.

The announcement has been met positively by securities analysts.

RBC said that “the world is ready for a new era even though it still needs to lower debt quickly,” Bloomberg reports.

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Analysts at Jefferies said that Doukeris “brings strong premium focus, having implemented the ‘High End’ division in China, as well as on digital with the company's first direct-to-consumer e-commerce platform.”

They added that the “clarity on management succession should be well-received.”

AB InBev said in February that it would invest more than $1 billion in its U.S. manufacturing facilities to raise production of hard seltzers, Dow Jones reports.

In the first quarter the company swung to profit of 30 cents a share from a year-earlier loss of $1.13 a share.

AB InBev revenue grew 17% to $12.3 billion in the quarter, on a 13.3% increase in beer volumes sold.

This stemmed from consumers returning to drinking and socializing as COVID-19 restrictions lift, Dow Jones said.

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At last check Anheuser-Busch InBev shares were 6.2% higher at $75.03.