Anheuser–Busch’s top two marketing executives are “gone gone,” a source inside the company confirmed after being placed on leave in a shakeup just months after Bud Light’s controversial collaborations and public exchanges.
Group Vice President for Marketing Daniel Blake and Bud Light Marketing Vice President Alissa Heinerscheid were placed on a leave of absence after the brewery’s parent company came under fire for their business decisions and marketing strategies.
“To my understanding if we publicly announced the word ‘fire’ it opens up the potential for them to sue us. Thats why we said leave of absence,” the source inside the company said in a text message obtained by the Caller. “Wholesalers were told they are both gone for good by leadership during in-person conversations. They already shifted all their direct reports to new people and the head of marketing,” the source added.
The poorly received decisions began when Bud Light released a can featuring transgender influencer Dylan Mulvaney, which sparked a boycott and a fall from its spot as America’s top–selling beer. The backlash escalated when the company released a can featuring a rainbow design and the words “celebrate everyone’s identity,” with different pronouns printed on the bottle.
Heinerscheid, the 39–year–old who allegedly lives in an $8 million apartment close to Central Park, did little to help with critics when she appeared on a podcast in late March to promote Bud Light’s new marketing. She said the company needed to update its “fratty” image and change its “out–of–touch humor.”
Despite her efforts to move the company in a new direction, leaks of Heinerscheid at the Harvard Isis social club event showed her partaking in the same behavior she tried to criticize in her podcast.
“The wholesalers would have had an absolute HAY DAY with leadership if they didn’t remove her,” the source inside the company also said. “But also he did hire her…so that’s a fault.”
The company has only reiterated the same official statement given when the leaves of absence began: “Given the circumstances, Alissa has decided to take a leave of absence, which we support. Daniel has also decided to take a leave of absence.”
As the consumers wait to hear of Anheuser–Busch’s plans to restore a positive image to the BudLight brand, it is clear that the leave of absence Blake and Heinerscheid have taken – and it now confirming as non–returnable – is more permanent than first anticipated. With their departure from Anheuser–Busch it remains to be seen what new steps the company takes to gain back the trust of its customers.