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Volume 24 No. 155
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A-B VP Mark Wright Is Latest Marketing Exec To Leave Company

Anheuser-Busch VP/Media, Sports & Entertainment Marketing Mark Wright is leaving for a top job at AT&T in Dallas, in which he will head the telecom giant’s $2B annual media budget. Sources said Wright had been mulling the offer through Heidrick & Struggles for some time and gave notice at A-B on Friday. Wright's resignation is effective July 15. He joined A-B in '91. According to an e-mail sent out today within A-B by VP/Marketing Paul Chibe, Wright "played an integral role in the success of the in-house media and sponsorship division."

No decision has been made on whether a successor would come from inside or outside the brewery. "We will be evaluating candidates to fill this role in leading one of the most-recognized media operations among all U.S. consumer product companies," the e-mail read. "We thank Mark for his many contributions and dedication to Anheuser-Busch over the years. We wish him and his family success and happiness in their new endeavor." Wright's new title at AT& is unclear, as is how much direct influence he will have on AT&T's extensive sponsorship portfolio. However, AT&T Senior VP/Sponsorships
Gail Torreano recently announced her retirement.

Wright’s resignation leaves Senior Dir of Sports Marketing Brad Brown as the top sports exec within A-B domestically, although, as always, A-B media and marketing execs will have plenty of sway over sports marketing decisions. Wright’s resignation is the latest in a series of departures by A-B marketing and sports marketing execs. Keith Levy, who headed U.S. marketing, left early this year.