Plenty of corporate CEOs say they want employees who know how to have fun. But Anheuser-Busch InBev NV chief Carlos Brito, MBA 1989, describing the demanding corporate culture he maintains, admits he doesn't even like the word.
"I think fun's too weak. ... I have fun at the beach with my kids," said Brito. "I like people at the company to have fun, sure, plus passion, plus commitment, plus energy, plus lots of other things. Fun is too weak if you want to be best at what we do."
In the Nov. 4 speech Brito, CEO of the world's largest beer marketer, discussed his view of what makes a high-achieving corporate culture. With 116,000 employees, Belgium-based AB InBev markets well-known brands from Budweiser to Stella Artois, and posted 2009 revenue of $36.8 billion. Brito's main message: Regardless of industry, the success of a corporation hinges in large part on hiring high-performing individuals, bringing passion and commitment to the job, and on building a company culture that keeps them.