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SAB Miller India in Executive Reshuffle?

Global beer giant SABMiller’s India operations will see a change of guard at a time when its stand-off with local authorities in two
large states has seen beer volume dry up significantly. SABMiller India MD Jean Marc Delphon de Vaux has decided not to renew his tenure in the country, in a move communicated this week, said an informed source. The decision not to extend his three-year Indian stint was a personal one, the source said.

A spokesperson of SABMiller, India’s second-largest brewer by market share, confirmed Mr Delphon de Vaux’s exit from India and said his decision was an independent choice. SABMiller appoints its managing director for a tenure of three years, but the contract can be extended. Richard Rushton, the previous India head, had a six-year stint.

In August 2006, Mr Delpon de Vaux took on the company’s reins after exiting the CEO position at Lever Faberge, France. His entry came at a time when SABMiller was aiming for the top slot in India’s beer market. A slew of acquisitions had made it the second-largest brewer in the country after Vijay Mallya’s United Breweries (UB).

SABMiller continues to trail UB, and has seen its key rival extend the lead in recent years. The global brewing giant’s domestic market share is pegged at around 36-38%, while UB estimates its share at over 48%, which has touched 50% in some recent quarters. India’s beer consumption was placed at 174 million cases (of 7.8 litre each) in FY09.

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Thursday, January 18, 8:01 am

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