Anheuser-Busch President North America Outlines Keys to Success
By Danielle Novy '14 | october, 2013, Issue 2
Luiz Edmond, President NA for Anheuser-Busch InBev points out some key factors for success during his presentation Oct. 16. (Photo courtesy of Kilts Center for Marketing)
Luiz Fernando Edmond, Anheuser-Busch InBev Zone President North America, delivered a presentation on campus Oct. 16 as part of the Kilts Center for Marketing Fall Premiere. He met with Chicago Business one-on-one afterward to share his best career advice, what he looks for when recruiting new managers and what he feels has been the key to A-B InBev's success.
Chicago Business: What's the best career advice you've ever received?
Luiz Fernando Edmond: Stay flexible. I think that people sometimes spend too much time and energy thinking about their career paths instead of delivering in the positions they have. This is what you're doing today, do it the best you can, have the biggest impact you can. So don't be cynical, commit to what you're doing, share your mind, but deliver great results and have impact.
CB: Are there any specific qualities you've learned to look for when recruiting future leaders/managers for A-B InBev?
LE: We dream big. We believe that it takes the same time and energy to dream big and to dream small, so we prefer to dream big. And of course, if you dream big, you want people who dream big, too. They have aspirations, they really want to work hard and they believe in what the company is proposing, that we can deliver those dreams and dream again to take us to the next dream. So it's a combination of dreaming big and having aspirations but also translating that aspiration into hard work.
CB: Many students at Booth also have roots in Latin America; what have you learned from working across multiple countries/markets?
LE: You learn to recognize the differences and also the similarities, and more and more, countries look more similar because of digital media, because of democracy, things are happening at the same time everywhere. So when Apple launches a new iPhone, it's not a U.S. launch, it's a global launch. So consumers are becoming more and more similar in their behaviors, which helps a lot. But it's also important to understand the opportunities that other countries offer when you go to work over there, and what restrictions you're going to have in other countries. I'd say if there's one similarity in all countries, it's that all of them offer lots of opportunities to develop ideas and have an impact.
CB: Can you pinpoint anything specific about A-B InBev's culture that you feel has really contributed to the company's success for the last few years?
LE: Absolutely: We believe that our people are our biggest competitive-advantage asset, so we believe in a culture of ownership, where people take accountability for delivering great results and for growing the company. We're proud of our culture of ownership, and of our culture of being a results-driven organization where, yes, we're fact-based, we believe in analysis, we believe in science, but at the end of the day, those things need to be applied to deliver great results for the company. And then in terms of people, of course everybody says they want great people; everybody's looking for great people, but not only do we look for great people, but we spend time to attract, to develop and to promote great people. Nobody will tell you that they're looking for average people or weak people, but we really spend our time coming to campus to recruit great people ... The senior people in the organization have targets, they spend time, they talk to people. We're not extremely organized in the career paths you're going to have, but our culture and our people is really what makes us successful; if you have to explain one thing that made us grow from a small local company to the biggest brewery in the world, it's our culture. We never deviate from that.
More information about the Kilts Center for Marketing can be found here.