(The Hill) – The marketing head for Anheuser-Busch will step down at the end of the year, a decision that comes months after its Bud Light brand saw a dip in sales following the company’s controversial partnership with a transgender influencer.
Benoit Garbe, the U.S. chief marketing officer for Anheuser-Busch, will resign at the end of the year “in order to embark on a new chapter in his career,” a spokesperson for Anheuser-Busch said in a statement.
The company’s U.S. Chief Commercial Officer Kyle Norrington will “oversee and be fully dedicated to all aspects of its marketing activities.” Two other sales leaders will now report to Anheuser-Busch CEO Brendan Whitworth, according to the spokesperson.
Whitworth explained that the changes will “reduce layers” within the organization.
“These senior leadership changes will accelerate our return to growth as we continue to focus on what we do best — brewing great beer for everyone and earning our place in moments that matter,” Whitworth said.
Bud Light sales took a hit earlier this year after the company partnered with transgender influencer Dylan Mulvaney on an Instagram advertisement featuring her posing with a personalized Bud Light can.
The partnership sparked criticism and calls for boycotts from conservatives in April, while Mulvaney’s supporters and LGBTQ advocates said Anheuser-Busch did not do enough to defend the partnership.
Shortly after in May, Bud Light fell from its spot as the top-selling beer in the U.S. for the first time in more than two decades.
Later in July, the company announced it would lay off almost 2 percent of its workforce, or about 360 jobs.