Cadbury Schweppes has appointed a former Coors board member as the chairman of its US soft drinks unit.

The company, which today (19 February) posted a 4% lift in full-year underlying profit, said that Wayne Sanders will chair the Dr Pepper Snapple Group division.

The announcement follows the recent confirmation that Sir John Sunderland will retire as Cadbury Schweppes' chairman in mid-2008, as the company demerges into Cadbury plc and DPSG.

Sanders joins the company having spent 28 years at Kimberley Clark. For 11 of those 28 years, he was chairman of the firm before retiring in 2003. Sanders is currently on the boards of Texas Instruments and Belo, and was also a board member of Adolph Coors Company.

"His (Sanders') familiarity with the demerger process, gained from the recent separation of Belo's newspaper businesses, is highly relevant," said Sunderland. "His experience of, and enthusiasm for, helping businesses grow and enhance shareowner returns will be of great benefit to DPSG as it embarks on a new journey as a focused, US-listed Beverages business."

Sanders said he was "thrilled" to be joining DPSG. "The business has a strong, diverse portfolio of household name brands loved by the consumer with enviable market shares and a unique, integrated business model.

"I am confident it has a bright future for employees and shareowners alike."