David Forde named new head of Heineken UK business

David Forde takes over at the helm of Heineken in the UK. Picture: John Sheehan
David Forde takes over at the helm of Heineken in the UK. Picture: John Sheehan
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DUTCH brewer Heineken named the new head of its UK business yesterday a week after it revealed current managing director Stefan Orlowski was departing to become president of the company’s Americas division.

David Forde will take up the role of UK MD in May, having held the same position in the group’s Irish business since 2009.

Heineken, the UK’s largest brewer after a joint takeover with Denmark’s Carlsberg of Scottish & Newcastle Breweries (S&N) in 2008, said Forde “has led the transformation of the [Irish] business during extremely challenging economic conditions”.

His tenure there has included a tough backcloth for businesses and consumers of the Irish banking crisis, recession, and the eurozone bail-out of the country.

A Heineken UK spokesman said yesterday: “Like Stefan, David will divide his time between our Edinburgh and London offices.”

The group’s annual results this week showed that the UK and mainland European countries involved in government “austerity” programmes remained tough. Heineken’s leading UK brands include Kronenbourg and Foster’s lagers, and John Smith’s bitter.

Forde began his career with the company, the world’s third-biggest brewer, in sales and marketing in Ireland. His senior roles have included marketing director of the Polish business, commercial development director, and managing director of Heineken UK before the S&N acquisition and integration.

He will report to Alexis Nasard, Heineken’s president western Europe and chief marketing officer, yesterday’s statement said.

Orlowski, who will be based in New York in his new post, succeeds John Nicolson, an S&N veteran before the takeover.

Heineken’s increasing presence in emerging markets saw its underlying profits for 2012 rise 7 per cent to €1.7 billion (£1.5bn). It forecast raw material prices, such as malted barley, would only edge up in 2013 after an 8 per cent surge last year.