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SABMiller brings in own man at Foster’s

SABMiller has moved to replace the CEO of Foster’s following the completion of its takeover of the Australian brewer last month.

Ari Mervis, currently Asian regional director for SABMiller, will replace John Pollaers at the helm of Foster’s from 16 December.

SABMiller’s AU$11.5 billion takeover of Foster’s was approved by the Australian government last month.

Approval was given on the condition that the company would keep brewing operations in Australia.

Mervis, who will move from Hong Kong to Melbourne to take up his new post, will remain in charge of SABMiller’s expansion into China as well as maintain his current role as managing director for Asia Pacific.

Pollaers fiercely defended Foster’s from SABMiller’s first approaches for the company earlier this year.

In a letter to staff he wrote: “My departure will not be a surprise to many of you who know me well. I have always made it clear that my passion is to be CEO of a large public company.”

He added: “We now fundamentally believe that if a whole lot more people raised a beer in friendship, the world would be a better place… We stand on the shoulders of the giants who came before us in this iconic Australian business, and your achievement would have made our [Carlton United Brewers] forefathers proud.”

Following completion of the takeover, SABMiller will become the world’s number two brewer by sales.

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