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AB InBev chairman Goudet steps down to focus on his role in Jab Holding

Olivier Goudet

MILAN – The chief executive officer of JAB Holding Co. Olivier Goudet is stepping down from his other role as chairman of Anheuser-Busch InBev NV to focus on coffee and avoid a potential conflict of interest. According to analysts, this is one more sign that the Luxembourg-based holding group, backed by Germany’s secretive Reimann family, aims to redouble its efforts to dominate the global coffee industry.

In addition to that, AB InBev had grown concerned that Goudet had a potential conflict of interest because of his role at JAB, report Bloomberg quoting a person familiar with the matter.

IMA
Kaffeeverband

The investment company manages a joint venture between Keurig Dr Pepper and AB Inbev that makes a pod-based cocktail machine that could compete with ABI’s own alcoholic beverages.

Besides, Goudet has an increasingly busy schedule at JAB, where Chairman Bart Becht is retiring and ceding more responsibilities to other executives, also played a role in the decision, the person said.

Bart Becht’s retirement announcement in January came as a surprise to observers of the company. With Peter Harf and Olivier Goudet, Becht was part of a triumvirate of senior partners that led JAB’s aggressive investment strategy.

According to the Financial Times reports Becht stepped down after failing to convince the other partners to scale back JAB’s takeovers and instead focus on operational improvements for its portfolio companies.

JAB has spent more than $60 billion in the past six years to become the second-largest player in java, after Nestle SA.