How did InBev, a Belgian company controlled by Brazilians, take over one of America's most beloved brands after barely a whimper of a fight? With timing - and some unexpected help from powerful members of the Busch dynasty, the very family that had run the company for more than a century.
In Dethroning the King, Julie MacIntosh, an award-winning financial journalist who led coverage of the takeover for the Financial Times, details how the drama that unfolded at Anheuser-Busch in 2008 went largely unreported as the world tumbled into a global economic crisis second in severity only to the Great Depression. Today, as the dust settles, questions are being asked about how the "King of Beers" was so easily captured by a foreign corporation and whether the company's fall mirrors America's dwindling financial and political dominance.
In Dethroning the King, MacIntosh:
From the very heart of America's heartland to the European continent to Brazil, Dethroning the King is the ultimate corporate caper and a fascinating case study that's both wide-reaching and profound.
©2010 Julie MacIntosh (P)2011 Tantor
"MacIntosh... earns extra credit for staying on the Anheuser-InBev case despite considerable macrocosmic distractions.... The author's persistence pays off in her account of the Busch family's searing internecine strife." (The New York Times)
The information in this book is interesting and entertaining. The author certainly did a thorough job on research. However, the chronology was horrible. I had a terrible time figuring out who was CEO, what year it is as the story flipped all over the place. The first half of the book was terribly difficult to follow. The author would switch back and forth from August III to the August IV CEO holders. The narrator did a great job, and difficult pronunciations were handled with ease.
I really enjoyed this book and thought the author did an excellent job of telling the story of Anheuser Busch and its takeover by In Bev. In was really more of a story of Busch III and Busch IV with a takeover thrown in by the way. The author did a really good job of developing those two characters, expecially Busch III.
In terms of the takeover, I think the author could have focused more on a few key players (Britto, Whitacre and another board member) and developed those characters rather than mention so many people that it was a little hard to keep track. I found myself constantly using the Kindle search feature to figure out who was who.
The narrator did a good job, but was the wrong person for this book When she attempted to mimic the men's voices, it sounded like she had a cold.
The book overall was fantastic. I had to read this for a class, and ended up really enjoying it. At times, the book is a little slow, but it is necessary to really understand the full depth of the relationships present, the environment the company was operating in, and the fantastic impact this company had on various entities, politically, socially and economically.
If you ever wondered how an American icon could get taken over by a company outside the US (more specifically Brazil) then you will find this book very interesting. The author did a very good job in digging up a lot of details that when considered could have kept the company independent. Unfortunately, the author is a woman and made it a point that she was pregnant when writing the story and how she was able to break into the man's world of beer drinking anyway. It should have been clear then as to why the author chose a female narrator. Every person referenced in this book was male so you can imagine what it was like listening to a woman imitate a man's voice.
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