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SA psychologist to follow Graham Mackay at SABMiller

Strong track record as head of Europe and at ABI SA.

JOHANNESBURG – Alan Clark, a former psychology professor, is the new heir apparent at SABMiller, as chairman Meyer Kahn retires and present CEO Graham Mackay takes the company chair.

McKay will serve as executive chairman for a year. Clark has been appointed chief operating officer and, should all go according to plan, he will take over as CEO in a year, when McKay becomes non-executive chairman.

Before his latest appointment, Clark was head of SABMiller Europe for eight years. The division has excelled in spite of tough economic circumstances.

He has an MA in clinical psychology and obtained a doctorate in literature and philosophy from the University of South Africa.

Before leaving academia to set up his own private practice in clinical psychology, he became an associate professor at the Centre for Cognitive Development at Vista University.

Dr Clark joined SAB Ltd in 1990 as training and development manager, he then went on to become general manager at the Alrode brewery in Johannesburg. He went on to serve as operations director and then as marketing director for SAB Ltd, before being appointed chief executive of SABMiller’s soft drinks operations in South Africa.

Dr Clark runs for fun. He is married with two children.

Sue Clark, no relation, has been appointed to succeed her namesake as head of SABMiller Europe.

Some SABMiller watchers might be surprised that Norman Adami, head of SAB Ltd in SA, did not get the top job. He too has had a meteoric career that spans the globe. London is not saying anything on who the candidates were and why Clark was chosen –but it might be that Adami has expressed a preference to living in SA.

John Manser, who has just been appointed deputy chairman, paid tribute to outgoing chairman Meyer Kahn, who became MD in 1966. He had earned his spurs at OK Bazaars in that company’s glory days. Kahn is a business legend, who was once known as the “boykie from Brits” and is known to call a spade a bloody shovel and not to suffer fools gladly.  

Kahn, who took a sabbatical to try to repair SA Police Services, has had altogether 46 years with SAB and was at the helm when the group decided on its successful global expansion drive.

Mackay became MD in 1997 and became CEO in 1999. His 13 years witnessed astonishing growth as SABMiller became the second largest brewer in the world.

The key executives at SABMiller are: Mackay, Clark, Jamie Wilson (CFO) and Adami. Other members of the exco are Mark Armour, Geoffrey Bible, Howard Willard (Altria Group), Alejandro Davilo (ex Bavaria US), Helen Weir (ex Lloyds Bank), Dambisa Moyo and Diyar Devitre (Altria Group).

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