On April 1, social media influencer Dylan Mulvaney, who is transgender and has publicly documented her experience transitioning online, posted a video on social media announcing she was partnering with Bud Light ahead of the men’s and women’s NCAA March Madness championship basketball games.
The company then faced intense anti-trans backlash online, including from singers Kid Rock and Travis Tritt.
Rumors also swirled that Bud Light’s marketing team was fired or stepped down. An article with the headline: “Anheuser Busch CEO Resigns As Bud Light Sales Plummet To Record Low” also went viral.
Several VERIFY viewers emailed us to ask if the rumors about the CEO were true.
Did Anheuser-Busch’s CEO resign over the company’s partnership with Dylan Mulvaney?
No, the Anheuser-Busch CEO didn’t resign. The article being widely shared claiming he did is satire.
WHAT WE FOUND
A spokesperson for Anheuser-Busch told VERIFY there is “no truth” to claims the company’s CEO resigned.
The fake article was published to a satirical website called “THE DUNNING-KRUGER TIMES.” The “About Us” section of the site says the website posts satirical content.
“Dunning-Kruger-Times.com is a subsidiary of the ‘America’s Last Line of Defense’ network of parody, satire, and tomfoolery … “Everything on this website is fiction. It is not a lie and it is not fake news because it is not real,” the website description said.
Next, VERIFY looked at what the article actually said. The fake article claims “CEO Augustus Anheuser III” “left the corporate headquarters in shame after tendering his resignation.”
According to Anheuser Busch’s website and the Securities and Exchange Commission, the current CEO is still Brendan Whitworth. He was named CEO in July 2021 and still holds the position. The spokesperson for Anheuser-Busch confirmed to VERIFY claims Whitworth stepped down are false.
The VERIFY team also took a look at the main image being used in the article. That image isn’t of the company’s current CEO.
The photo is actually of Jerry Sandusky, the former Penn State football coach who was found guilty in June 2012 of 45 counts of child sexual abuse and sentenced to up to 60 years in prison. The photo of Sandusky was taken outside the courthouse in Pennsylvania where Sandusky appeared ahead of closing arguments in the trial against him. VERIFY found the original picture of Sandusky using RevEye, a reverse image search tool.
So, we can VERIFY the Anheuser-Busch CEO didn’t resign. We also asked Anheuser-Busch about rumors that the marketing team was fired. The spokesperson said those claims were also false.