Anheuser-Busch InBev and ZX Ventures: Thirst for Self-Disruption

How should large companies like AB InBev organize themselves to foster innovation and self-disruption both immediately and over the long term?

Todd Jick  | Fall 2018
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In 2015 AB Inbev, the undisputed global leader in the beer industry, created a new subsidiary, ZX Ventures, whose goal was to become the beer giant’s engine of innovative growth without adversely affecting the success of the core business. Pedro Earp an ABI insider who had spent nearly 20 years working at the company, was hired to be the company’s chief disruptive growth officer and leader of ZX Ventures. By early 2018 Earp knew that his organization had hit its aggressive benchmarks for revenue growth and value creation and that his team had surpassed expectations for the quality of its innovation. He had created a structure, process, mandate, and team for ZX Ventures that he was proud of and that were instrumental to its success. In this case students will be asked to answer the questions that plagued Earp at this critical juncture in the subsidiary’s lifecycle: Is the formula for ZX Ventures’ success over the last two years sustainable? How can change happen without losing the ingredients that made ZX Ventures work to begin with?

Case ID: 190408

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