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July 02, 2023
Former Anheuser-Busch president demands CEO step down over Bud Light debacle in scathing letter
I'm surprised this is the first public call for Anheuser-Busch CEO Brendan Whitworth to step down. Having it come from the former president of AB makes it that much more biting. In an open letter published in The Daily Mail, former AB president Anson Fredericks said that after $20 billion dollars in losses and ample time to fix the f*ck up, Whitworth has cost shareholders enough money. He gots to go.
There were two developments that are causing Fredericks to say enough is enough. One was Whitworth breaking his silence about the issue on CBS Morning by not addressing the issue or even mentioning Dylan Mulvaney -- the controversial titface performer at the center of the drama -- by name. The other was Mulvaney breaking his silence as essentially saying, "Seriously, what the f*ck, dude?"
Whitworth has clearly shown himself to be incapable of solving the Mulvaney crisis. He’s had multiple chances and he’s failed.
A simple "whoops, we f*cked up" fifteen billion dollars ago would have helped. Instead, on CBS Mornings Whitworth played corporate Mad Libs talking about "big social conversations" and needing to "deeply understand and appreciate" what the customer cares about. The customer cares about you not hating them. Once the customer learns how much you hate them in real life, lame marketing campaigns won't fix it.
Fredericks continued, mentioning Mulaveny showing to have a bigger bulge than Whitworth.
On Thursday, Mulvaney did something Whitworth should have had the wisdom to do weeks ago – cut ties. ... Anheuser-Busch’s response on Friday was predictably weak and indecisive:
'As we move forward, we will focus on what we do best – brewing great beer for everyone and earning our place in moments that matter to our consumers.’
What does that mean? Absolutely nothing. And it will only deepen the chasm between the brand and its customers.
Yeah, turns out it was more than "just one can." Bud Light signed Mulvaney to an entire brand ambassadorship to help shed the former #1 beer in America's "fratty and out of touch" customer base.
As such – and I take no pleasure in passing this judgement – it's clear to me that it's time for the shareholders and board of Anheuser-Busch to ask Whitworth to step down.
Whitworth's plan is to do nothing and hope that people forget. Now he has managed to piss off both sides. His core base of middle-class Americans who want to drink beer and be left alone. And the woke left who demand companies affirm their every worldview. If it's not Mulvaney, it's getting the MLB All-Star game moved out of Atlanta or demanding every company in America issue a statement anytime the left has a bug up their ass over a piece of legislation.
Prior to the Bud Light debacle, Whitworth would have made a safe bet. Companies only heard from one side of the argument. Now the other side is speaking out and forcing companies to make a choice BEFORE taking political sides.
Brodigan is Grand Poobah of this here website and when he isn't writing words about things enjoys day drinking, pro-wrestling, and country music. You can find him on the Twitter too.
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