Heineken N.V. announces organisational changes to accelerate strategy delivery

Amsterdam, 31 March 2015 - Heineken N.V. (EURONEXT: HEIA; OTCQX: HEINY) today announced that in order to accelerate the delivery of its global strategy it will make changes to its operating model and ways of working.  The changes will allow the business to better focus on growth opportunities, to be more agile in responding to consumer needs in the marketplace and be more cost effective in doing so.  The key changes are:

The business will be regrouped around 4 geographic regions. The existing regions of Western Europe and Central and Eastern Europe will be united to form a single Europe region, focused primarily on the European Union markets. Stefan Orlowski, President Americas, will lead this region.  The existing Africa Middle East region will be combined with Russia and Belarus to form a new region, Africa Middle East and Eastern Europe.  Roland Pirmez, President Asia Pacific, will lead this new region.  Marc Busain, Managing Director CM/HEINEKEN Mexico, becomes President of the existing Americas region and Frans Eusman, Chief Business Services Officer, becomes President of the existing Asia Pacific region.

The Head Office organisation, both functional and regional will be streamlined. The roles of Chief Marketing Officer and Chief Sales Officer will be combined at a global level in one Chief Commercial Officer role.  Jan Derck van Karnebeek, President Central and Eastern Europe and Global Chief Sales Officer, will assume this position. Strategy development will be embedded in the organisation and the role of Chief Strategy Officer will be phased out. The key functions currently within Global Business Services are now successfully established and so will transfer to the CFO.  As a result the new management group will be leaner and renamed Executive Team.

Furthermore, the composition and structure of the management reporting directly to the Executive Team has been redesigned, subject to consultation with the relevant Works Councils.  In the coming three months, further work will be undertaken in order to eliminate duplication, streamline processes and simplify decision-making.

Taken together, these changes will underpin delivery of the company's medium term target of improving consolidated operating margin (beia) by around 40 basis points per annum.

Jean-François van Boxmeer, Chairman of the Executive Board and CEO of HEINEKEN said, "The changes announced today will make us a more agile organisation.  Our management structure will be flatter, our operating companies more empowered and our cost of doing business lower.  The new Executive Team consists of proven leaders who will build on the outstanding work done by the HEINEKEN Executive Committee over the last few years." 

The new structure will be operational from 1 July 2015 with HEINEKEN's first half performance for 2015 reported under the existing regional structure on 3 August.  Restated figures for the prior year and 2015 first half performance based on the new regional structure will be provided at a later stage. "Head Office" will remain as a separate reporting entity.

HEINEKEN also announced a number of departures at Executive Committee level:

Alexis Nasard, currently Regional President, Western Europe and Global Chief Marketing Officer, has at an earlier stage indicated his intention to leave HEINEKEN to meet his ambitions outside of the Company. He will leave HEINEKEN on 30 June 2015.  Alexis joined HEINEKEN in 2010 as Chief Commercial Officer and assumed his current role in March 2013.  Commenting, Jean-François van Boxmeer said,   "Alexis has been a very strong leader.  As Chief Marketing Officer he step-changed the marketing agenda, with significant progress in innovation and global brands, particularly Heineken®. This culminated in HEINEKEN being awarded Cannes Lions 'Marketer of the Year 2015'. As President of Western Europe, his highly focused strategy based on commercial assertiveness and cost discipline delivered top and bottom line growth and broad market share gains.  He leaves HEINEKEN with our genuine thanks and best wishes for his future."

Siep Hiemstra, currently President Africa Middle East, will retire as planned in August 2015, once he has reached the age of 60.  Siep joined HEINEKEN in 1978 and has worked in a variety of international management roles including Deputy Director Africa, Regional Director South East Asia/Oceania, Head of HEINEKEN Technical Services and Regional President Asia Pacific.  He assumed his current role in 2011.  Jean-François van Boxmeer said, "I want to commend Siep's more than 37 years of service around the world and in particular thank him for his contribution to the development of our Asian and African regions.  He leaves an important legacy that will play a major part in our company's future growth.  I am pleased to say that Siep will remain involved with HEINEKEN as a Board member of Nigerian Breweries and United Breweries in India."

Chris Barrow, currently Chief Strategy Officer, has decided to leave HEINEKEN in July 2015.  Chris joined HEINEKEN in 2004 working on a variety of business development projects in Asia and Latin America before becoming Managing Director HEINEKEN Latin America in 2005. In 2007 Chris was appointed President of HEINEKEN's Polish operations, Grupa Žywiec and in 2010 became President HEINEKEN Brazil.  Chris was appointed to the Executive Committee as Chief Strategy Officer in 2013.  Jean-François van Boxmeer commented, "In the last 10 years, Chris has made an important contribution to our company via his business development and management roles in our emerging markets.  His work as Chief Strategy Officer has been of significant value.  In particular, we have benefited from his leadership and insight during the strategy development process and from his stewardship of the changes that we are announcing today.  He has my thanks and best wishes for the future."


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John Clarke   Sonya Ghobrial
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Notes to Editors:

Composition of the Executive Team from 1 July 2015:

  • Jean-François van Boxmeer, Chief Executive Officer & Chairman of the Executive Board
  • Laurence Debroux, Chief Financial Officer &  Member of the Executive Board (subject to shareholder approval at the AGM on 23 April 2015)
  • Stefan Orlowski, President Europe
  • Roland Pirmez, President Africa Middle East and Eastern Europe
  • Marc Busain, President Americas
  • Frans Eusman, President Asia Pacific
  • Jan Derck van Karnebeek, Chief Commercial Officer
  • Marc Gross, Chief Supply Chain Officer
  • Chris Van Steenbergen, Chief Human Resources Officer
  • Sean O'Neill, Chief Corporate Relations Officer

Biographies of all Executive Team members are available on request or via www.theHeinekencompany.com

Editorial information:
HEINEKEN is the world's most international brewer. It is the leading developer and marketer of premium beer and cider brands. Led by the Heineken® brand, the Group has a powerful portfolio of more than 250 international, regional, local and specialty beers and ciders. We are committed to innovation, long-term brand investment, disciplined sales execution and focused cost management. Through "Brewing a Better World", sustainability is embedded in the business and delivers value for all stakeholders. HEINEKEN has a well-balanced geographic footprint with leadership positions in both developed and developing markets.  We employ 81,000 people and operate more than 160 breweries in 70 countries.  Heineken N.V. and Heineken Holding N.V. shares trade on the Euronext in Amsterdam. Prices for the ordinary shares may be accessed on Bloomberg under the symbols HEIA NA and HEIO NA and on Reuters under HEIN.AS and HEIO.AS.  HEINEKEN has two sponsored level 1 American Depositary Receipt (ADR) programmes: Heineken N.V. (OTCQX: HEINY) and Heineken Holding N.V. (OTCQX: HKHHY). Most recent information is available on HEINEKEN's website: www.theHEINEKENcompany.com and follow us via @HEINEKENCorp.