Former president of Anheuser-Busch Sales and Distribution Company Anson Frericks urged the current CEO of the beer company, Brendan Whitworth to step down from his position for how he has botched and continues to botch the Bud Light situation involving trans woman Dylan Mulvaney.
In a column for The Daily Mail, Frericks claimed that Whitworth needs to leave before doing more damage to the brand that has already lost billions of dollars in market value.
All of this happened in the wake of Anheuser-Busch brand Bud Light making the trans influencer one of its spokespersons in April.
Frericks accused Whitworth of botching multiple opportunities to right his company’s ship in the wake of the boycott and claimed it would be better for the company’s shareholders to compel him to leave rather than he stays and offer more “bland” responses to Anheuser-Busch’s current PR crisis.
Frericks declared, “Whitworth has clearly shown himself to be incapable of solving the Mulvaney crisis. He’s had multiple chances and he’s failed.”
The piece began with Frericks noting the monetary loss suffered by his former company in the wake of the Mulvaney partnership. “After all, the beer company’s decision to make trans-activist Dylan Mulvaney the face of Bud Light has cost a staggering $20 billion – and counting – in lost market cap value,” he wrote.
He mentioned how Mulvaney blasted the beer brand earlier this week in an Instagram post. In that clip, the trans influencer ripped Bud Light for not showing enough support for Mulvaney amidst the backlash. Frericks claimed, “Mulvaney did something Whitworth should have had the wisdom to do weeks ago – cut ties.”
The former executive mentioned that Whitworth’s response to Mulvaney, “was predictably weak and indecisive,” and claimed his statement that the company “will focus on what we do best – brewing great beer for everyone and earning our place in moments that matter to our consumers,” meant “absolutely nothing.”
Frericks added, “And it will only deepen the chasm between the brand and its customers.”
The former Anheuser-Busch executive then declared, “As such – and I take no pleasure in passing this judgment – it’s clear to me that it’s time for the shareholders and board of Anheuser-Busch to ask Whitworth to step down.”
He claimed it was necessary to hold the CEO accountable because his business decisions are now impacting other people whose livelihoods depend on the success of the brand.
“So I write this with a heavy heart, not out of spite but because it’s important for Americans to understand how and why corporate leaders can bungle the management of once-iconic American brands so badly, sacrificing countless jobs and invested assets in the process.”
Frericks then went through the timeline of the ongoing Mulvaney, Bud Light controversy, criticizing Whitworth’s attempts to solve the issue throughout.
For example, he stated, “On April 14th, Whitworth made his first attempt at addressing plunging sales with a flat corporate response that neither mentioned the specific controversy, nor apologized for it. Instead of helping, it made things even worse: inflaming both the customers who wanted an apology for the campaign – and those who were sympathetic to Mulvaney and wanted to see the company defend the influencer.”
The former Anheuser-Busch leader also trashed both of responses Whitworth made in June. Of the one Whitworth made on June 16, he wrote, “But this statement, as bland as the first, only announced additional investments in Bud Light’s summer marketing campaign, support for front line employees and a few weak platitudes telling consumers ‘we hear you’ and ‘here’s to a future with more cheers.’”
Frericks noted that after that statement, “Bud Light subsequently experienced its worst weekly sales numbers since the Mulvaney partnership.”
He then detailed the remarks the CEO gave in a June 28 interview on CBS Mornings, saying, “He made his first public appearance since the debacle on CBS Morning News where he was twice asked by hosts if he would send the can to Mulvaney again or if it had been a ‘mistake’. It was a softball question. He should have belted it out of the park.”
Frericks added, “Yet both times he deflected, with a clearly rehearsed and evasive answer. He should have said: ‘Of course, it was a mistake. No, we wouldn’t send the can again!’”
He surmised that Whitworth gave such answers because “he’s been paralyzed by corporate America’s forced adoption of ‘stakeholder’ capitalism, which preaches to companies about why they must serve activists, politicians, non-governmental organizations and all manner of interests – anyone really apart from their shareholders and customers!”
He then concluded, “Whitworth has clearly shown himself to be incapable of solving the Mulvaney crisis. He’s had multiple chances and he’s failed. It’s time he did the right thing and stepped aside to make way for someone capable of righting the sinking Bud Light ship.”
Fox News Digital reached out to Bud Light for response to Frericks’ criticism and is waiting for a response.