Jean-Francois van Boxmeer, chief executive of Dutch brewer Heineken for the past 15 years, will step down on 1 June and be replaced by the head of the company's Asia-Pacific region, the world's second largest beer maker said on Tuesday.
The brewer of Europe's top lager Heineken, as well as Sol, Tiger and Strongbow cider, announced the change a day before it publishes its 2019 results.
Belgian Van Boxmeer, 58, joined Heineken in 1984 as a trainee and took a number of management positions, including in Africa, before becoming CEO in 2005.
Under Van Boxmeer's stewardship, Heineken consolidated its position as a global brewer, more than doubling in size.
Heineken carved up Scottish & Newcastle with Carlsberg in 2008, became a major brewer in Mexico in 2010, boosted its presence in Asia in 2013 and in 2017 became the second largest brewer in Brazil in acquisitions worth more than €30 billion ($33 billion).
"He will leave behind a company excellently positioned to grow further," said Jean-Marc Huet, chairman of Heineken's supervisory board.
Van Boxmeer's retirement as CEO does not come as a major surprise.
He had a term of office until 2021, but the company was believed to be seeking a successor.
"I feel now is the right moment to hand over leadership to the next generation," Van Boxmeer said in a statement.
That successor will be Dolf van den Brink, currently head of Heineken in the Asia Pacific region. The 46-year-old Dutchman has been with the company for 22 years.
Van Boxmeer has been nominated as a non-executive board member of Heineken Holding, which owns 50.005% of the brewer, Heineken N.V.