CEO of Heineken USA to step down
The top executive at Heineken USA is departing at a time when the brewery company is struggling to maintain beer sales during the economic downturn.
Don J. Blaustein will leave his post as president and chief executive officer of the American operations, based in White Plains, on August 31.
It marks the second change in top management at the U.S. business in nearly two years.
Amsterdam-based Heineken and other beer makers have faced headwinds during the recession as consumers cut back on alcoholic beverage consumption or shift away from more expensive imported brands such as Heineken.
In April, Heineken announced a sales decline of 16 percent in the Americas region during the first quarter.
“This is not a decision that I made overnight,” Blaustein said in a written statement. “Given my own career aspirations and a different view of how to build our business/portfolio in the current economic climate, I thought it best that we part ways.”
Blaustein could not be reached for additional comment.
He took over the job in October 2007 after an earlier stint as as a vice president of sales at Heineken’s American business.
Heineken said that it will soon name a replacement for Blaustein. John Nicolson, regional president Americas, will oversee the U.S. business on an interim basis.
“I am pleased to work directly with the Heineken USA team until a successor is named,” Nicolson said in a written statement. “They are a talented group and I have all confidence they will excel during this transition.”