Ocean Spray has appointed a new senior vice-president and COO for its largest division. The cooperative said yesterday that Kenneth G. Romanzi, a 22-year veteran of the food, beverage and consumer goods business, has joined its domestic food and beverage business.

Romanzi, 44, has more than two decades of executive and management experience with brands including Nabisco, Cadbury-Schweppes and Frito-Lay. In addition to his marketing background with Frito-Lay and Cadbury, Romanzi was president of the Nabisco Foods sales organisation in the late 1990s.

As CEO of the Ultimate Juice Company from 2001 to 2003, he was a prime force behind the national expansion of Naked Juice, a brand of super-premium refrigerated juices.

The company's domestic marketing, sales and research and development organisations will now report to Romanzi, who reports to CEO Randy Papadellis.

"Ken brings a wide breadth of consumer marketing experience and a fresh jolt of entrepreneurial innovation to running one of the premier juice and food brands in the US," said Papadellis. "He will be responsible for synchronising all of the marketing, sales and R&D activities that will keep Ocean Spray at the forefront of consumer consciousness."

Ocean Spray's own Stewart M. Gallagher will be Romanzi's counterpart in the global marketplace as senior vice-president and COO of Ocean Spray International, the cooperative's fastest growing division. Gallagher, who joined Ocean Spray in 1992, has held several top leadership positions in the organisation, both domestically and internationally.

In addition to his international role, Gallagher has been selected to lead the development of new marketing, sales and distribution alliances with other companies in the US and around the world. Those partnerships are a strategic imperative for Ocean Spray as it moves to build critical mass in the global marketplace, the company said.

"With Ken Romanzi leading the domestic charge and Stu Gallagher running international growth and pursuing those key alliances, our winning team just became a lot stronger," said Papadellis. "We're building leadership to bring the Ocean Spray brand to a whole new level."