Patricio, a Portuguese citizen, joined Ambev, the brewer's Latin
America operation, in 1998 as VP-marketing. He went on to hold
executive positions in North America and Asia Pacific before being
named global CMO in 2012. He led marketing as the brewer grew
international distribution of Budweiser, Stella Artois and Corona
in key markets such as China. Recently he oversaw AB InBev's World
Cup campaign by Anomaly, hitting more than 50 countries. The brewer
described it as the largest campaign in its history when measured
by investment and reach.
The brewer cited positive results from the World Cup campaign on
its second quarter earnings call on Thursday. Global revenue grew
4.7 percent in the second quarter, led by its three big global
brands, Budweiser, Stella Artois and Corona, which were up 10.1%.
Revenues are still falling in the U.S., down 3.1 percent in the
quarter. Bud Light and Budweiser have been falling for years in the
U.S. But the company said it delivered its best quarterly market
share performance in nearly four years in the U.S., citing
continued growth from Michelob Ultra, as well as a lift from its
Bud Light Orange line extension.
Patricio, in an interview, made a construction analogy when
describing the marketing leadership changes: "You change the roof
of the house when it's sunny, not when it's raining. And it's been
very sunny for us."
Patricio will remain in the company's senior leadership team in
his new role. One of his priorities is growing the brewer's
in-house content creation capabilities. AB InBev has established
content studios in Colombia and Mexico. Patricio said more studios
would open in other markets, probably including the U.S. The move
follows the industry trend of companies taking greater control of
their marketing, which has the potential to threaten agencies.
Asked about that, Patricio said "this is not to substitute
agencies, this is to improve our velocity to the market."
AB InBev has long been known as a shrewd financial operator,
whose growth has been fueled by acquisitions such as its $103
billion purchase of SABMiller in 2016, creating a megabrewer with a
presence nearly everywhere. AB InBev bought Mexican brewer Grupo
Modelo in 2013, giving it control of Corona outside the U.S. The
deals earned AB InBev the reputation as a company that relies on
acquisitions, not brand-building, to fuel growth. However, AB InBev
under Patricio made gains in burnishing its reputation for
creativity. It took home 23 lions at Cannes this year,
including two Grand Prix awards.
"We are recognized as being a very, very efficient company,"
Patricio said. "But also we can add to that strength a very strong
marketing capability. We are on the way," he added, noting the
increased number of people at the top of the company with marketing
With Earp's promotion, AB InBev's 18-person global management
team remains all male. He was already on the team in his previous
role, but a slot is also reserved for the global CMO, which he now
fills. The lack of diversity was cited in a February report by
Sanford C. Bernstein, which noted that "all-male management teams
are cutting themselves off from half the talent in the world."
"I think there is definitely an opportunity for us to be more
diverse in the future," Patricio said. "We need an evolution and
will have an evolution on that front."
The brewer on Thursday also announced that it was creating a new
position to oversee its non-alcoholic beverages business, which
accounts for more than 10% of its global volume. The job will be
filled by Lucas Herscovici, who had been serving as global
marketing VP of strategic functions, which includes innovation,
media and insights. The company has not named his replacement for