Jones Soda Co. has appointed Columbia Distributing Co.'s general manager as its chief operating officer.

The Seattle-based beverage company, whose portfolio includes a range of National Football League-branded CSDs, said today (4 January) that Joth Ricci will assume the position from 7 January, reporting directly to interim CEO Stephen Jones.

In his new role, Ricci will oversee sales, operations and customer service, including the company's relationship with National Beverage Corp. - with whom Jones Soda has a licence agreement - and human resources.

Stephen Jones said: "Joth has a strong marketing and operating background and fits nicely into our plans to compliment our unique Jones Soda creativity with world class strategy and executional excellence."

Ricci added: "Jones is one of the most unique companies in the beverage industry and is known for its extraordinary innovation and creativity. It's exciting for me to be joining such a dynamic organisation."

Ricci, who has been with Columbia Distributing since 2000 has also served as vice president of human resources & process improvement, and regional vice president of sales & marketing. Before joining Columbia Distributing he spent nearly 10 years with McNeil Consumer Healthcare / Johnson & Johnson.

Last month, the troubled company's chairman and CEO, Peter van Stolk, stepped down from his position. Van Stolk will remain on the board, while board members Scott Bedbury and Steve Jones took on the interim positions of chairman and CEO respectively as the company continues to look for a new boss.

In November, Jones posted a net loss for its third quarter, which slumped to US$1.5m, compared with a net profit of $194,774 in the previous year's third period.