Anheuser-Busch InBev has installed a new leader for its U.S. marketing team amid continued struggles for its biggest and most important brand, Bud Light.
Marcel Marcondes, who had been the brewer's global VP-marketing brands and growth development platforms, has been installed as the new VP-marketing overseeing the U.S. market, the brewer announced today. He replaces Jorn Socquet, who had held the job since early 2014. Mr. Socquet will stay with the brewer and take on a new global role as VP-marketing strategy for core brands, where he will report to global Chief Marketing Officer Miguel Patricio.
Mr. Marcondes joined AB InBev in 2005, after eight years at Unilever. He has held several positions at the brewer including leading marketing for brands including Skol, Brahma, and Antarctica. He moved to AB InBev's global headquarters in September 2014 as global marketing VP for Corona and new brands, and took on his current role in 2014.
The leadership change comes amid turbulent times in the U.S. beer industry, marked by frequent leadership and agency changes as big brewers struggle to grow their biggest brands. Beer Marketer's Insights noted that AB InBev's change marks their fifth U.S. marketing VP in about nine years.
The brewer has had an especially tough time gaining momentum for Bud Light. As Ad Age reported on Friday, wholesalers were disappointed with the latest campaign, the politically themed Bud Light Party from Wieden & Kennedy, which starred Amy Schumer and Seth Rogen. The campaign -- which recently ended -- failed to stop a continued sales slide. The brewer last week reported that Bud Light sales to retailers fell by "mid-single digits" in the third quarter. The brand lost 0.65 points of market share in the third quarter. Year-to-date, Bud Light's market share is down by 0.50 points, the brewer estimated.
As the Bud Light Party effort ends, AB InBev has signaled it would emphasize sports marketing, incuding its ongoing NFL-themed campaign, which includes dressing cans in team logos. The brew is also running ads promoting its sponsorship of Lady Gaga's "Dive Bar Tour."
"Our culture is a culture of constant positive change, and that includes team changes and opening up new opportunities – both for our people and for our business," AB InBev said in a statement announcing the leadership change. "We are excited for our colleagues and the new adventures that lie ahead of them, and all our teams."