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August 9, 2022

Mikkeller says goodbye to CEO and changes the management

The Danish craft brewery Mikkeller is making changes at the top of the organization. Kenneth Madsen who has been CEO since November 2020 is leaving Mikkeller. The day-to-day management of the company will be overseen by an executive committee consisting of Martin Connie Pinborg (CFO and Director), Mikkel Bjergsø (Founder and Creative Director) and Ditte Lassen-Kahlke (General Counsel and Chair of the Board).


The Danish brewery, Mikkeller, which operates in 48 countries, is making changes in its organization. The brewery has – like the rest of the craft beer industry – felt the consequences of rising raw material prices, increased freight and production costs, and a Covid pandemic which has left its mark on the craft beer market globally.

"We have had thorough discussions about what to do considering the situation within the craft beer market and have agreed that the global expansion that Kenneth was brought in for is not currently realistic to implement. Therefore, we have mutually agreed to part ways. We would like to say a big thank you to Kenneth for his great efforts during his time at Mikkeller,” says Ditte Lassen-Kahlke, General Counsel and Chair of the Board of Mikkeller.

Instead of one CEO, the day-to-day management of Mikkeller will be overseen by an executive committee, consisting of Martin Connie Pinborg (CFO and Director), Mikkel Bjergsø (Founder and Creative Director) and Ditte Lassen-Kahlke (General Counsel and Chair of the Board).


Focus on brand in new strategy

While the market situation means that Mikkeller’s priorities have changed, the business ambitions are unchanged. The new management in Mikkeller is developing a strategy which will first focus on improving earnings and strengthening the work within the brand and innovation. The business will focus less on expansion in the coming period but remain ambitious in terms of the quality of the beers and the experience in bars and restaurants.

"It is generally a very challenging time for production companies - and especially in light of the current market situation - it is necessary for us to look at the whole business and ensure that it is sustainable. After that, we can invest again in expanding the company and get Mikkeller's beer out to even more people," explains Mikkel Bjergsø, Founder and Creative Director of Mikkeller.

"We will continue to work on maintaining our position in our focus markets. Business is going well in the retail trade for instance where craft beer is fortunately on the rise. But we are taking things in stages, and right now it is the brand, product development and the beer that is our focus," he says.

In the autumn, Mikkeller will open its second bar in Tallinn, hold a scaled back (due to Covid) Mikkeller Beer Celebration Tokyo (MBCT), and plans to reopen the restaurant on the top floor of Mikkeller’s Bar in Bangkok.



• Was founded by math- and physics teacher Mikkel Bjergsø, who started homebrewing in his kitchen in Copenhagen in 2003

• Distribute beers to over 50 countries

• Operate 48 bars and restaurants in 18 different countries around the world

• Contract brew 90 percent of its beer mainly at De Proef Brouwerij in Belgium

• Own and operate four breweries in San Diego, London and Copenhagen

• Founded Mikkeller Running Club with 250 chapters and roughly 20,000 members around the world

• Annually host the beer festival Mikkeller Beer Celebration Copenhagen (MBCC) and Mikkeller Beer Celebration Tokyo (MBCT)

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