The outgoing managing director of Beam Global Spirits & Wine's UK division is switching to become CEO of Cobra Beer.

Adrian McKeon, who earlier this month stood down from his post at Beam UK, will assume his new role at Cobra in August, the company said yesterday (12 June). Lord Karan Bilimoria, Cobra's founder, will vacate the position and move up to become executive chairman.

"I am pleased to have the opportunity to join Cobra Beer," Mckeon said, "to help push the company forward in the years to come, and to build upon the great work that Karan and the team have already achieved."

Lord Bilimoria added: "I greatly look forward to working with Adrian and to providing strategic guidance from the position of executive chairman. I have given this decision a great deal of thought, and will remain very active in the company and continue to dedicate myself to driving Cobra forward."

McKeon is set to leave Beam after two years as MD at the end of this month, to be replaced by Jonathan Stordy, who assumes responsibility for the UK and Ireland alongside his current position as managing director of Beam in Spain, Portugal and France.

Last September, Cobra lined up a GBP10m (US$19m) marketing campaign in the UK. The investment came two months after the company revealed it had raised GBP27.5m to fund expansion in key markets worldwide, which also include India, South Africa and the US.