Molson Coors has appointed a replacement CEO for its UK unit.

Mark Hunter has been lined up to replace Peter Swinburn in the role at Coors Brewers, the company said today (9 October). Swinburn is leaving the UK to replace Frits van Paasschen as CEO of Molson Coors' US unit, Coors Brewing.

When contacted by just-drinks, a spokesperson for Coors Brewers said that Swinburn will be heading up Coors Brewing in the US ahead of the merger of the US operations with SABMiller's, which was announced today. The spokesperson was unable to clarify what would happen to Swinburn's role once the JV is up and running. "The joint venture is pending regulatory clearance in the US," the spokesperson said, "And Peter will run the Coors unit in the build-up to hopefully receiving this clearance."

Hunter returns to Coors Brewers from Canada where he has been chief commercial officer since May 2005. He had previously worked for Bass Brewers since 1989, holding a number of positions within the marketing function. Bass Brewers was acquired by Coors Brewing in 2002.

Swinburn has been CEO at Coors in the UK since May 2005, when he replaced the retiring Peter Kendall.

"Mark has extensive knowledge and insight on the UK market," said Leo Kiely, Molson Coors' CEO. "His keen sense of how to market brands in different cultures and his strategic thinking ability will be key to our Europe and Asia business."

Hunter added: "I am very honoured to have the opportunity to lead Coors Brewers at a very exciting time for the company. The company has a great brand portfolio and great people who are driving enormous change - my focus will be building on this strong base for the future."