Heineken creates new 'chief strategy officer' position


- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Strategic management Organic growth

Heineken creates new 'chief strategy officer' position
Heineken has appointed Chris Barrow to the newly created role of chief strategy officer, where as a member of the firm's executive committee, he will report directly to CEO and chair Jean-Francois van Boxmeer.

Barrow will relocate from Brazil to Amsterdam to take up the new position overseeing Heineken's wider business strategy from August, and Van Boxmeer said the brewer wanted to continue to put "professional and dedicated support"​ into thinking through strategic issues, opportunities and choices.

Heineken's organic growth strategy had developed in recent years, he said, with the firm significantly increasing growth platforms for acquisition.

"With more than 20 years of experience in brewing, and having led successful strategies, projects and major businesses within Heineken, Chris has absolutely the right credentials for the role," ​Van Boxmeer added.

Asked why Heineken had decided to create the new role, given that other managers had presumably filled such functions before, a Heineken spokesperson said that the latter had always incorporated such duties into different roles.

"One of the obvious facts we all can agree on is that Heineken has grown significantly in size in recent years, and traditionally organic growth has been absorbed as the firm grew.

But we're at a stage now where we've made significant progress in our organic growth strategy but now have to look to the future and put more professional support behind assessing our future strategic issues and assessing opportunities.

Barrow won't be lone ranger...

A business the size of Heineken now needed someone dedicated to global strategy development, they added, where it wasn't someone's title before. Asked if Barrow would lead a team, they said: "We're not expecting him to be a one-man band - put it that way."

"There will be a focus on both organic and inorganic growth, since the latter is one way to grow the business. But you also have to take care of the assets you have and ensure you maximize the opportunities in that.

"As we've acquired businesses and brands over recent times, that's something that we really need to put more focus behind."

Formerly MD of Heineken Brazil, Barrow worked on various business development projects in Asia and Latin America before becoming MD of Heineken Latin America then President of the brewer's Polish operations, Grupa Zywiec. 

Before joining Heineken, Chris worked at SAB Miller from 1987-2003 in a variety of management roles with responsibility in South Africa, Asia and Central America.

Related topics Manufacturers Beer & cider Heineken

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