Frank E Weise has been elected chairman of the board of directors of Cott. He continues as president and chief executive officer, positions he has held since assuming leadership of the company in June, 1998.

Weise, whose career includes previous executive positions at Proctor & Gamble and Campbell Soup Company, has directed Cott's turnaround and its performance through 12 consecutive quarters of profitable growth, the company said in a statement today.

He succeeds Serge Gouin who has served as non-executive chairman of the Toronto-based beverage maker since 1998. Gouin becomes lead independent director and continues on the board.

In announcing the move, Gouin said: "Cott Corp. is on the right strategic path, thanks to the vision and success of Frank and his senior team. With a bright future looming for our company, it is a fitting time for me to hand over the title and role of chairman. I salute Frank's leadership and I commend his abundant achievements on behalf of our employees, customers and shareowners."

"The board's confidence is very gratifying," said Weise. "I take on this expanded role with enthusiasm. Our record grows stronger each quarter and now provides a platform for reaching higher to new levels of performance. I, in turn, have boundless confidence in our Cott teams to fulfill a bigger potential. The market is full of promise and we are ready to compete and win."