Budweiser Budvar has announced its UK managing director, Simon George, is stepping down from the business.

George has held the role for the past six years. He will step down in January and will act as joint managing director until this time, working alongside Jitka Vlčková, who will take over as UK managing director in 2021.

Petr Dvořák, Budweiser Budvar NC Managing Director, said: “We are extremely grateful to Simon for all his hard work and effort over the past seven years – he leaves our business with our very best wishes and sincere thanks. 

“Simon and the UK team have done a great job in building the Budvar brand. In particular, we are pleased with the brand performance in the UK, and we are particularly proud of the latest market share data showing we are the fastest-growing Czech brand in the GB off trade.”

George said: “I have loved my time here but it’s now the right time for me to handover and embrace a new challenge. I am very grateful for the support that I have received during my time here at BBUK from our chairman Renata Pánková, and I wish the rest of the board well for the future. 

“The appointment of Jitka means the UK business is in great hands as the team prepares for Brexit and the full roll out of our “Greetings from the Republic of Beer” programme to the UK On Trade.  As a Top 10 World beer brand in both draught and packaged formats, we are confident about the future opportunities for Budweiser Budvar in the UK.”

The news comes on the back of strong market share data that shows Budweiser Budvar Original is the fastest-growing Czech beer brand in the off-trade in the last 12 weeks (IRI to September 12, 2020). The Czech beer brand is currently trialling the TopClip sustainable packaging solution in Waitrose and has undertaken a full market launch of its new Republic of Beer packaging, focusing on its provenance, ingredients and ownership by the Czech people.