New Owner's Cost Cuts Change Flavor at Budweiser

Jobs, perks, executive suites disappear
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Apr 29, 2009 7:50 AM CDT
The brewery headquarters is seen in Leuven, Belgium.   (AP Photo/Thierry Charlier)
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(Newser) – Things haven't tasted the same since InBev's takeover—and makeover—of Anheuser-Busch, the Wall Street Journal reports. Cost-cutting has become paramount at a firm once known for its cushy treatment of employees. Jobs have been sliced, executive suites knocked down, and benefits like free baseball tickets made rare. Anheuser-Busch Inbev “is like a start-up,” says the firm’s US boss. “That excites some people and turns off others.”

Some 1,400 employees were fired last year when InBev took over, the compensation system has been overhauled, and corporate jets are being sold. “We always say, the leaner the business, the more money we'll have at the end of the year to share,” said Anheuser-Bush InBev’s CEO. The firm’s market share increased in the first quarter in an industry holding up well in the recession.