01 Oct

Another Export from Down Under – Paul Donaldson

Another Export from Down Under  – <em>Paul Donaldson</em>

As a member of the AB InBev family, Carton & United Breweries offers unparalleled global career opportunities for the passionate and ambitious. In the last four months, four CUB staff members have been appointed to overseas roles – three in New York and one in Switzerland.

One of these talented team members is Paul Donaldson, who has accepted the role of Global Vice President of Strategy based in New York.

What I’ve done 

Over the last 20 years I have had a long and varied career within the FMCG industry. I spent the first few years of my career at Cadbury Schweppes managing brands such as Red Bull, Schweppes and Gatorade. In 2009 I joined CUB as the GM Marketing for Classic Brands (Victoria Bitter and Crown Lager). Since joining CUB (we were an ASX listed company known as Fosters then!) I have held a number of roles across the business including Marketing Director, On-Premise Sales Director where I managed over 15,000 customers and Head of Revenue Management or pricing in simple terms!

These roles gave me the opportunity to build my commercial skills beyond marketing and to be involved in exciting projects such as launching Tank Beer in Australia.  The experience I gained in these roles provided me with a solid base for my roles in strategy. For the last 5 years I have held the roles of Strategy Director of CUB, VP Strategy for our Asia Pacific South zone and now I am in NYC!

Where I’m going

Well, I am already here. In May I accepted the role of Global Vice President Strategy in New York City.  We moved in a whirlwind and now our backyard is Central Park. I have grown up in Melbourne and live on the coast in Jan Juc, so living in New York, the city that never sleeps, is a bit of a change for the whole family.  We have an apartment that is just big enough for visitors, so we are hoping to have lots of friends and family visiting us.  Initial interest is proving that this won’t be an issue…9 visitors in the first 3 weeks!!

What I’m excited about

I have always liked the more complex, multi-dimensional issues that really stretch your thinking. My team and I (I’m really big on coaching and development) love the complex, unbound issues. We often get asked questions like ‘India is the most complex market in the world – how can we win?’, ‘What are the biggest challenges and opportunities for the beer industry 30 years from now?’ , ‘How can we disrupt our own operating model?’ I am excited about being able to solve these problems on a global stage.

In this role I am working with the Executive team, CEO and Board to drive the global agenda for AB InBev.  My focus will be finding the right growth opportunities into the future and ensuring we have the capability to achieve it. Our vision is to always lead the market and continually set the agenda, we are not followers.

I also get to work with a diverse and exceptionally talented team. We have nuclear physicists, partners from the world’s leading consultants, PhD level mathematicians, entrepreneurs, sports people, musicians and many others all within the strategy team!

My legacy in this role will be building  a strong and respected strategy function,creating a high-performance team with robust and trusted relationships across all levels and functions within the business. And most importantly, I hope to see our plans implemented and our vision realized.

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