Anheuser-Busch Inbev SA (BUD) shares extended declines in premarket trading Tuesday after the world's biggest brewer juggled it North America leadership team amid questions over the sustained weakness of its domestic beer sales.
Shares in the maker of Budweiser were marked 2.59% lower in premarket trading, indicated to open at $114.72, after closing at $117.77.
AB InBev tapped Michel Doukeris to head its North America division in a bid to stem falling U.S. sales, where its Bud Light brand holds a 19% market share but is facing persistent challenges from microbrewers and changing consumer habits.
Doukeris will replace João Castro Neves on Jan. 1. Castro Neves is leaving after 22 years at the company "to pursue other opportunities."
"The US is our most important market and we recognize the need to continue to focus on driving topline growth across our portfolio," said AB InBev CEO Carlos Brito said in a statement. "Michel has extensive experience delivering results for our business worldwide, including helping to grow Budweiser globally and launching The High End business strategy, which now represents $5 billion of sales."
Doukeris joined AB InBev in 1996 and most recently was appointed President AB InBev China in January 2010 and Zone President Asia Pacific in January 2013. "During his tenure in China, he oversaw Budweiser's rapid growth, helping to make China Budweiser's largest growth market," the company said.
AB InBev became the biggest brewer in the world last year after it completed its £79 billion ($103 billion) takeover of SABMiller, which was widely seen as a bid to reduce the group's dependence on North America.
In October, the company reported a 6.1% decline in total volume in the third quarter and Budweiser revenues declined by 2.2%.
Sales in the U.S. have been under pressure from craft beers, with its market share in the U.S., its largest market falling to 44.1% in 2016 from 50.6% in 2008, according to research firm Euromonitor International.
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