President, Chief Executive Officer, Anheuser-Busch Packaging Group
Mike Harding has 36 years of operations experience with Anheuser-Busch. He is the recently retired president and chief executive officer of the company’s packaging group. He was responsible for creating high-quality, low-cost packaging materials for Anheuser-Busch and some of the world’s leading soft drink manufacturers.
This $2.6 billion in revenue packaging subsidiary consists of five business units: Metal Container Corp. (can and lid manufacturing); Anheuser-Busch Recycling Corp. (one of the world’s largest aluminum recyclers); Eagle Packaging, Inc. (crown liner manufacturing); Longhorn Glass Corp. (glass bottle manufacturing), and recently sold Precision Printing and Packaging, Inc. (label manufacturing). These subsidiaries supply Anheuser-Busch’s 12 domestic breweries, more than 80 soft-drink filling locations and third-party distribution centers.
Harding provided managerial direction and leadership for the packaging group’s corporate offices in St. Louis, including 400 corporate and salaried employees involved in Operations, Engineering, Research and Development and Quality Assurance. He was also responsible for management of 14 manufacturing plants and facilities, with approximately 1,900 employees, throughout the United States.
Prior to leading the packaging group, Harding was Vice President of Plant Operations and Operations for Anheuser-Busch, Inc. from 1998 to 2006. In this capacity he was directly responsible for Corporate Operations as well as 12 breweries throughout the United States and provided some support to international functions. This responsibility encompassed 10,000 plant and corporate employees, plant infrastructures and operations, focusing on capital and non-capital projects, plant modernizations / automation and information system upgrades for one of the largest brewers in the world.
Harding was responsible for day-to-day manufacturing, human resources and labor relations activities such that production schedules and variances, line efficiencies, asset utilization, safety, quality, training, and costs fell within budget and parameters of the Corporate strategic and financial plans. He was also responsible for streamlining operations, reducing waste, eliminating non value-added work/activities, and developing an empowered, highly skilled salaried, union and non-union work force. He worked closely with plant safety and environmental staff groups to ensure that employees, the plants and their surrounding acreage remained in full compliance with all federal, state and local regulatory guidelines.
In addition to his appointment to the Anheuser-Busch Companies Strategy Committee in 2006, Harding has served as a director on the following boards: Anheuser-Busch Packaging Group, 2006; Mathews-Dickey Boys & Girls Club, 2004; National Safety Council, 2001 – 2003; Anheuser-Busch, Inc., 2001 and the Anheuser-Busch Companies Environmental, Health & Safety Policy Committee, 2001.
Harding began working for Anheuser-Busch as a production management trainee in 1973 at the St. Louis brewery. He has a master’s degree in business administration from Pepperdine University and a bachelor’s degree from Central Missouri State University (now University of Central Missouri). He also successfully completed the Manufacturing Executive Program via the University of Michigan’s Business School in 2000 and postgraduate studies in Industrial Technology/Manufacturing at the University of North Florida in 1982.