ST. LOUIS (KSDK) - Francine Katz ,the former highest ranking female executive at Anheuser-Busch spent the morning on the witness stand explaining her role as Vice President of Corporate Communications and Consumer affairs.
She contends she took over for John Jacob and was paid about $1 million a year, while he made $4.5 million a year. She told jurors she felt the gap would close, but after six years, she still made less than half his salary.
Katz is suing Anheuser Busch for gender discrimination claiming she was denied more than $9 million in compensation. Her attorney, Mary Ann Sedey, called Katz a leading strategist who led the companies anti-underage drinking and drunk driving campaigns.
FOLLOW THE LIVE UPDATES: Day 3: Francine Katz vs. Anheuser Busch in court
In testimony, jurors saw Katz testify before Congress in 2004, appear on the network broadcasts of 60 minutes, Dateline NBC, CNBC and local broadcasts.
They showed her taking on the author of the South Beach Diet who claimed beer made your belly fat. And she testified that her lobbying efforts helped sway lawmakers and attorney's generals not to create more government regulation, a move that helped the company's bottom line.
Sedey said Katz has about 10 more minutes left to testify and then Jim Bennett, who heads Anheuser Busch's legal team, will begin cross examination.
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Anheuser Busch insists evidence will show Katz was good at her job, but she was no John Jacob who was a civil rights icon and the most trusted advisor to August Bush III. Anheuser Busch says Katz was well compensated for her role as a top level public relations executive and the process to determine her salary was gender neutral.
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