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Miller's Bowlin resigns, Adami is the new CEO.

AP -- The new owner of Miller Brewing Co. is replacing John Bowlin as the chief executive and president of the second largest U.S. brewery.

Norman Adami, chairman and managing director of South African Breweries operations in South Africa, was named last week to replace Bowlin, who is resigning at the end of this month.

Bowlin, who has headed Miller since April 1999, stayed on after Philip Morris Cos. sold Miller in July for $3.6 billion in stock to London-based South African Breweries PLC.

The deal created the world's second-largest brewer behind Anheuser-Busch Cos., which makes Budweiser and Bud Light. The combined company took the name SABMiller.

But Miller's market share has continued to fall amid increasing competition from Anheuser-Busch Cos., No.3 Adolph Coors Co. and other brewers.

Mike Brophy, a spokesman for Milwaukee-based Miller, said "our results in the recent past have been disappointing and this is a move we believe will help to move the company forward as far as business results." Its biggest brand is Miller Lite.

Resigning was a joint decision between Bowlin and the board, said Mike Hennick, another Miller spokesman.

"Over the last four years we have made a lot of progress and achieved some major improvements in the efficiency and competitiveness of Miller," Bowlin said in a news release. "I have been privileged to lead a very professional and talented management team and have every confidence that Miller will grow from strength to strength under Norman's leadership."

Adami, 48, joined South African Breweries in 1979 as a project officer, being promoted to a number of senior positions before becoming managing director in 1994. In 1995, he was appointed to the main board of South African Breweries and in 2000 was appointed as chairman of its South African operations.

Analysts say the change wasn't a surprise, but it's hard to determine how the company will perform under Adami. "This fellow is a stranger to this market," said Mark H. Rodman, owner and founder of Beverage Distribution Consultants of Swampscott, Mass. "He comes out of a market where Castle lager and the South African Brewery portfolio is overwhelmingly dominant and the company effectively controls its distribution."

Adami would help the company by consulting more with distributors and show he's committed to the distribution system, Rodman said. "Norman Adami has got a lot of things that he's got to overcome before its too late. There's an old theory in the beer business ... once a company goes on a slide for three consecutive years it never recovers."

Adami was to relocate from Johannesburg to Milwaukee.

Graham Mackay, chief executive of SABMiller, said in the last 20 years Adami has developed and strengthened one of their largest and most successful operations.

Tony van Kralingen, currently managing director of the SABMiller subsidiary in the Czech Republic and owner. of the Pilsner Urquell brand, will take over for Adami in South Africa.

Also announced last week was the August retirement of Mike Simms, managing director of SABMiller Europe. Simms will be replaced by Alan Clark, currently managing director of Amalgamated Beverage Industries Ltd.
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Title Annotation:Miller Brewing co., John Bowlin
Publication:Modern Brewery Age
Geographic Code:6SOUT
Date:Jan 20, 2003
Words:515
Previous Article:Comment: SAB takes control in Milwaukee.
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