A-B Makes Sweeping Field Changes

FILED FEBRUARY 16, 2010

Dear Client:

"We are never satisfied with our results and we will always look for ways to improve our performance and focus our efforts where we can get the highest yield." So writes A-B chief Dave Peacock in letter to distributors just moments ago, obtained by BBD. A-B announced changes to marketing, sales, and branch operations. It's been in the works for awhile, as we have been hearing buzz on this for weeks. Here are the highlights:

A-B is expanding the number of sales regions from five to eight, adding offices in St. Louis, Denver and Charlotte, N.C., reducing the geography of most regions. Region leaders will be announced "soon". "While some wholesalers will change regions, these changes will not affect the way wholesalers interact with the regions. For example, the district manager positions will not change," writes Dave.

A-B will also be putting a trade marketing group within the sales organization, and will "add resources to optimize execution and performance in independent accounts."

Some key chain retailer responsibilities go from the regions to National Retail Sales group, "while building multi-disciplined account teams for our key accounts to support sales, pricing, category and space management and shopper insights."

For the company owned branch distributors (WODs), they will integrate sales into the brewery sales organization.

Dave says these changes are "designed to simplify our business and reflect our focus on the consumer. We will begin implementing these changes this week and expect most changes to be complete by mid-year."

As for personnel, there will be "promotions, changes in reporting relationships, job reductions, moves and additions. Many distinct areas of the business will be unaffected." No word yet on net head count.

Developing........

Until tomorrow, Harry

"A wise man will make more opportunities than he finds."
-Sir Francis Bacon

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