It is impossible not to be criticized when you are in the spotlight. Case in point: Warren Buffett. In the space of two weeks he has been criticized for supporting Hillary Clinton in the US presidential race, for a Corporate Governance “manifesto” co-signed by several CEOs (I’ll adress that in a separate post), and now for being increasingly “relentless” in his search for efficiency.
The WSJ had an interview in late June with Carlos Brito about his plans for Anheuser-Busch Inbev. The video inside is focused on the corporate culture aspect, and it’s always refreshing to watch. That said, we wonder if the video registers for foreign investors as much as it registers for investors who have been exposed for so many years to the effects that Brahma’s/ AmBev’s/ InBev’s and now ABI’s culture really has over time.
The brazilian management of AB-InBev is surprising even americans for their fiercely-enforced operational efficiency measures. Their surprise is, well, surprising to us in light of what the same people did in Europe at Interbrew, and highlights the advantages of looking at companies globally.
Judging by the recent troubles in Belgium and the article at Valor (in portuguese), the love-hate relationship with InBev in Belgium has gone to hell. And there’s the “socialism vs. capitalism” conflict in Europe again. If it weren’t for the image deterioration risk – and it seems that they’re handling it by going as far as they can, but no further – the union representative’s words would be music to shareholders’ ears.