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ST. LOUIS -- August A. Busch IV will take over as president and chief executive officer of Anheuser-Busch Cos. Inc. (A-B) beginning Dec. 1, succeeding Patrick Stokes, who has held the corporate president and CEO positions since July 2002.
Stokes, 64, has been named chairman of the board, effective Dec. 1, succeeding August A. Busch III. Both Stokes and Busch III will retire from their executive functions at the company on Nov. 30. Busch III will continue to serve on A-B's board.
"Anheuser-Busch is ready for the next generation of leadership," said Busch III. "August IV has successfully prepared himself by leading the U.S. beer company through a period of great change and challenge. He brings with him the new thinking of his generation, yet appreciation for the great traditions and values of this company."
Busch IV, 42, is the fifth generation of Busch family members to lead the company. He has been with A-B for 21 years, beginning as an apprentice brewer in 1985, where he was a member of Brewers & Maltsters Local 6. Busch IV has since held a variety of positions in management, brewing, operations and marketing.
He was named group vice president of marketing and wholesale operations in 2000, vice president of marketing in 1996 and vice president of brand management in 1994. He holds a master's degree in business administration from St. Louis University; a brewmaster's degree from the International Brewing Institute in Berlin; and graduated magna cum laude with a bachelor's degree in finance from St. Louis University. He also holds an honorary doctorate of business administration from Webster University. Busch IV serves on the board of FedEx Corp.
"I am proud to accept this challenge that carries a great deal of personal meaning for me," he said. "My father and Pat leave behind a legacy of unparalleled excellence. They have demanded the best of me and my colleagues. Preparing myself for a leadership role in business has long been my objective. I'm glad to have found that role in the company I love and that my great-great grandfather founded. I am eager to set an agenda that capitalizes on this company's history of success. But I will not do this alone -- I will have the most talented team in the industry working with me, and together, we will accomplish great things."
Busch III praised Stokes, saying "August IV follows a man of leadership and conviction in Pat Stokes. We are grateful for Pat's vision, stewardship and his countless contributions to this company over his 37-year career. We have worked side- by-side for many of those years, and I have the greatest respect and admiration for all Pat has given Anheuser-Busch. He leaves a tremendous legacy."
"It has been a great privilege to lead Anheuser-Busch for many years and to be an active chairman of the board," Busch III continued. "This is a dynamic, engaging business…”
Busch III also announced that John E. Jacob will retire as executive vice president-global communications. Jacob, 71, will remain on the A-B board of directors, on which he has served since 1990. Jacob, the former head of the National Urban League, joined the company as executive vice president and chief communications officer in 1994.
Anheuser-Busch is the leading American brewer, holding a 48.8 percent share of U.S. beer sales. The company brews the world's largest-selling beers, Budweiser and Bud Light. Anheuser-Busch also owns a 50 percent share in Grupo Modelo, Mexico's leading brewer, and a 27 percent share in Tsingtao, the No. 1 brewer in China.