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Wrong Francine Katz?

Francine I. Katz

Vice President of Communications and Consumer Affairs



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Background Information

Employment History

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Vice President of Communications and Consumer Affairs

Anheuser-Busch Companies, Inc.


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Web References(103 Total References)

Francine Katz, vice president of communications and consumer affairs at Anheuser-Busch, was meeting with her bosses - Chief Executive Pat Stokes and Chairman August A. Busch III - for a performance review.
Katz said she expressed her disappointment that the brewer had not given her a larger raise after she was promoted to her new job five months earlier and became the first woman appointed to A-B's key strategy committee. Things got unpleasant, according to Katz. Now, Katz is bent on receiving more. Gone from Anheuser-Busch for about 10 months, Katz - a 20-year A-B veteran and once its highest-ranking female executive - filed a lawsuit accusing Anheuser-Busch of gender discrimination and paying her less than her male counterparts. The suit, filed Monday in St. Louis Circuit Court, outlines the meeting seven years ago, along with a number of other stinging charges. In the suit, Katz, 51, claims Anheuser-Busch pays women less than their male counterparts and encourages a "locker room" and "frat party" atmosphere. She also accuses the brewer of removing responsibilities from women, blocking them from top jobs and important committees and excluding them from informal social networks. She is seeking lost wages and benefits, and compensatory and punitive damages. This is from "one of the most A-B-loyal execs we've known," newsletter Beer Marketer's Insights said Tuesday. Anheuser-Busch, however, strongly disputed the allegations, emphasizing that the brewer believes in treating employees fairly and that it prohibits discrimination. Before Katz resigned from A-B, she was "compensated fairly for her roles and responsibilities at Anheuser-Busch and treated in compliance with all relevant laws and internal standards," the company said in a statement. By contrast, Katz received $300,000 in base salary and a bonus of $200,000 ($500,000 total) in 2002, her first year in the new position. Katz received annual raises and bonuses. But by 2007, she still made only 46 percent of what Jacob had earned in 2001, the suit says. Katz said she first learned about the alleged gender gap when Anheuser-Busch filed documents with the Securities and Exchange Commission in connection with InBev's buyout. The Sept. 19, 2008, filing disclosed the compensation of members of the strategy committee. "It was at that time that I discovered I had been treated differently than my male colleagues both in terms of compensation and in the enhanced severance and benefits," Katz said in a statement. As a result of her lower pay, Katz's enhanced severance package tied to InBev's acquisition was less valuable than her colleagues, according to the lawsuit. Through a representative, Katz declined to be interviewed. Katz began her career at Anheuser-Busch in 1988 as an associate general counsel in the legal department. She took over the company's communications and consumer affairs departments in 2002. That year, she also was named to Anheuser-Busch's top-level strategy committee, a group of 15 to 20 executives. She led the company's alcohol awareness programs and environmental outreach, and was also an aggressive spokeswoman, defending Anheuser-Busch from claims that its caffeine-alcohol drinks appealed especially to minors. In the lawsuit, Katz claims she repeatedly raised the issue of the unequal pay to several top executives between 2002 and 2007. Katz alleges in the lawsuit that Katz asked "numerous times" to meet with Busch IV - including a formal request on Sept. 12, 2007. In March, Katz filed a charge of discrimination against Anheuser-Busch with the Missouri Commission on Human Rights, the suit says. Katz said the decision to pursue the claim was not easy, citing her "fulfilling career" at Anheuser-Busch. "As someone who served as a mentor to many women at Anheuser-Busch, I believe it is important to speak up about the disparate treatment I received," she said.

Francine Katz, a former Anheuser-Busch executive, is seeking a new trial for gender discrimination after unsuccessfully suing the company in May.
Katz worked for the brewing company for two decades and claims she was paid significantly less than her male predecessors.

Francine Katz's motion in St. Louis Circuit Court cites alleged jury instruction errors as well as a statement by the beer company's attorney during closing arguments that the one-time vice president of communications and consumer affairs says was incorrect.
A jury of seven women and five men determined in mid-May that Anheuser-Busch did not discriminate against Katz by paying her significantly less than a male predecessor. She had sought more than $14 million in salary and interest. The 56-year-old Katz spent two decades at the company, rising from a young corporate lawyer to a role as key strategist and the company's top female executive who was often the face of her hometown employer.

"Adults across the country are drinking responsibly and choosing designated drivers, and we want to recognize their life-saving practices because we're clearly seeing the results," says Francine Katz, vice president of communications and consumer affairs, Anheuser-Busch Companies, Inc.
NHTSA data showed that alcohol-related fatalities in 2004 dropped 2.4 percent, falling below 17,000 for the first time in five years. According to a 2004 survey by Data Development Worldwide (DDW), more than 122 million American adults - 61 percent - have either been a designated driver or been driven home by one. Likewise, data from another 2004 survey by DDW shows that 95 percent of adult drinkers say they drink responsibly. "We salute America's responsible drinkers for helping contribute to this tremendous progress," Katz continues. [cached]

Francine Katz
Anheuser-Busch Companies, Inc.

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