A-B InBev Shuffles Executive Ranks, Affecting Media, Digital

Brewer's U.S. Media and Sports Overseer Blaise D'Sylva Departs

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Anheuser-Busch InBev's recently-installed marketing VP in the U.S. Jorn Socquet has begun putting his stamp on the brewer, overseeing key executive changes that affect media buying and planning, as well as digital and sports marketing operations, Ad Age has learned.

Lucas Herscovici
Lucas Herscovici

Blaise D'Sylva, the brewer's U.S. VP-media, sports and entertainment marketing since early 2012, has left the company, a spokeswoman confirmed. Mr. D'Sylva, a former ESPN sales executive, played a key role overseeing the company's in-house media-buying arm, called Busch Media Group, as well as the brewer's media planning agency, Starcom USA.

Those duties now fall to Lucas Herscovici, who was recently promoted from VP-marketing of digital marketing in the U.S. to a newly created position called VP-consumer connections, which encompases sports, entertainment, media and digital. This makes Mr. Herscovici a key figure in adland, with oversight over the brewer's extensive traditional and digital media budget, as well as its sports-sponsorship deals including its National Football League pact.

A-B InBev is the nation's 22nd-largest ad spender, shoveling out $1.56 billion in measured media in 2013, according to the Ad Age DataCenter. The brewer has for years been the exclusive beer advertiser for the Super Bowl.

A company spokeswoman declined to comment on the circumstances of Mr. D'Sylva's departure. Mr. D'Sylva was hired by former U.S. Marketing VP Paul Chibe, who left the company earlier this year and was replaced by Mr. Socquet, who was named marketing VP in January. Mr. Socquet had been running the brewer's Canadian marketing since 2010.

Mr. Herscovici has climbed the ranks at the brewer, holding various global roles before taking the North American digital marketing job in July 2012. While overseeing digital, he was based in a Silicon Valley satellite office in Palo Alto, Calif. He has sinced moved to the brewer's U.S. headquarters in St. Louis as he settles into his new job.

A-B InBev has not hired a new digital marketing VP to replace Mr. Herscovici. As such, the changes would appear to elevate the status of Azania Andrews, who remains in Palo Alto as the U.S. director of digital strategy. Ms. Andrews joined A-B InBev in 2013 after a stint at WPP, where she served as VP-digital business development, according to her LinkedIn page.

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