News Briefs for December 10, 2014December 10, 2014
•Anheuser-Busch InBev is relocating its U.S. sales and marketing team from St. Louis to New York City next year. The move involves about 250 people, the Wall Street Journal reported, and is intended to position the brewer’s marketers closer to ad agencies and the headquarters of major advertising platforms like the NFL and Major League Baseball, while also helping the company recruit and retain top sales and marketing executives. St. Louis will remain AB InBev’s official U.S. headquarters. The midwestern city still houses the majority of its U.S. employees, but company CEO Carlos Brito and other top executives are already New York-based.
•Chester Brandes, former president and CEO of Imperial Brands, has filed a lawsuit against Imperial’s parent company, Belvédère S.A., alleging breach of contract. According to the complaint, Brandes—who took on the president and CEO role in 2007—entered into an employment agreement with Belvédère in 2010 which promised him a percentage of Imperial’s sale price if the company were sold within a five-year period. Brandes claims that agreement was breached when Belvédère subsequently sold Imperial Brands subsidiary Florida Distillers for an undisclosed sum, without compensating him. Brandes left Imperial Brands in October of this year, replaced by Nicolas Guillant, who is now managing director, North and Central America and Caribbean. Guillant was formerly general manager of William Grant’s Nordic business. Headquartered in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida, Imperial Brands is the U.S. marketer for Belvédère’s Sobieski vodka, which rose 0.5% to just under a million cases stateside last year, according to Impact Databank.
•Purity Vodka global president and CEO Andy Glaser has announced plans to step down at the end of the year. According to the company, Glaser—who joined Purity as CEO in early 2011—is leaving to “pursue new ventures.” Concurrent with Glaser’s departure, Purity’s vice president of sales Brian Citron has been promoted to the role of general manager of the brand’s U.S. business, effective December 9. Glaser will stay on board through December 31 to support Citron’s transition. Produced at Ellinge Castle in southern Sweden, Purity (around $40 a 750-ml.) first launched in the U.S. market in 2009.
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