Crown Rejiggers Sales Force

FILED DECEMBER 22, 2009

Dear Client:

Crown Imports is embarking on what they are calling a "Sales Force Effectiveness" initiative next year, which will see several changes to their sales force structure. According to a memo sent to distributors by evp - sales Bruce Jacobson, Crown has been working on this initiative for "several months". BBD learned that they have indeed been working on this initiative since June, and so it has nothing to do with the recent strife between Modelo and Constellation.

The redesign includes six "strategic Business Units, four based on geographic location (West, Central, East and South), along with one each for On-Premise and Off-Premise - National Accounts." Crown says that each business unit will "enjoy greater decision-making and execution responsibility, enabling Crown as a whole to be nimbler and more responsive to market and consumer demands."

Bruce stresses that this is an "investment in our organization and our sales team to support our current and future growth opportunities and better align with our strategic objectives." Indeed, BBD has learned there will be no net reductions in head-count, and indeed you may even see more folks on the street next year.


BEER INSTITUTE TO HIRE NEW PRESIDENT WHILE BECKER MOVES TO CEO

Crown isn't the only one reshuffling. In a nod to the more challenging times the brewers are experiencing, the Beer Institute announced internally that they are building their bench strength by initiating a search for a new President to run the day-by-day operations of the group, while moving longtime chief Jeff Becker into a broader CEO positioning, allowing him to focus on more relationship building and strategic direction. Both the president and the CEO will report directly to the Board. BI is targeting the first quarter of 2010 to have somebody in place. We spoke with Jeff yesterday and he said he was "excited about the new structure" and that this new plan demonstrated the BI Board's commitment to assigning significant resources to help protect the industry.

Until next year (maybe), Harry

"Cleanliness becomes more important when godliness is unlikely."
-P.J. O'Rourke

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