Anheuser-Busch’s Profits Rise, New CEO Named
On Wednesday, Anheuser-Busch Cos. Inc. posted a 16-percent jump in first quarter profits and ended a family tradition in naming its first chief executive in 142 years who is neither an Anheuser nor a Busch, according to Reuters. Patrick Stokes, 59, who currently runs the company’s U.S. beer business, will become president and chief executive on July 1. He will replace August Busch III, who will remain as chairman and who turns 65 in June.
Stokes had been expected to succeed Busch and is “widely respected” both inside the company and with distributors, said Caroline Levy, a beverage analyst at UBS Warburg.
Higher prices and sales of its new Bacardi Silver flavored malt drink boosted first-quarter profits. Anheuser-Busch raised its target for earnings per share growth. However, sales to wholesalers were lower than some analysts had expected, and the company’s shares, which earlier in the day had reached their highest level in several years, reversed direction to end the day lower.
Moderator Comment: How will the tenure of August Busch
III as chief of Anheuser-Busch be remembered? What changes, if any, might you
expect under Patrick Stokes’ leadership? [George
Anderson – Moderator]