Lousada will be succeeded on an interim basis by former Heineken Mexico chief executive Michiel J. Herkemij.
Lousada has led Carlsberg UK since January 2014, during which time he re-launched the ‘probably’ advertising campaign. He has also served as a board member of both the British Beer & Pub Association, and of the Portman Group.
Herkemij’s most recent assignments include chief executive roles within British American Tobacco, Sara Lee and Heineken, working across several European countries including the UK, as well as in China, Nigeria and Mexico.
Jørn Tolstrup Rohde, senior vice president, Western Europe, Carlsberg, said: “We thank James for all his efforts while leading Carlsberg UK through a period of many changes during the last two years. After careful evaluation we have decided a new type of leadership is required to take Carlsberg UK forward.”
Lousada said: “The time is now right for a new direction within Carlsberg UK and to have a change in leadership to deliver that. I have thoroughly enjoyed my time leading a dedicated and committed team that strive every day to put the customer at the heart of everything they do.”
The company said the search for a permanent replacement would start immediately.
Carlsberg reported beer volumes in the UK down 6% in the six months to 30 June.
Last month the Financial Times reported that Magners producer C&C Group had held talks with Carlsberg about a deal to acquire its UK business in the summer.