US: Miller appoints Coke man to top marketing job

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Miller Brewing has appointed the Coke-veteran Tom Long as executive vice president and chief marketing officer.

Some16 years with the Coca-Cola Company, Long is currently president of Coca-Cola's Northwest European division, which includes the UK, Ireland, France, Belgium, Luxembourg and the Netherlands.

Long served in several senior marketing and sales roles for the soft drink company, including as vice-president of strategic marketing, with global responsibility for managing the company's entire brand portfolio. He also served as Coca-Cola's head of worldwide marketing insights and research.

"Tom is a strong, decisive leader and his mandate is to take our marketing capability to the next level," said Miller president and CEO Norman Adami.

Long succeeds marketing EVP Bob Mikulay, who is retiring after 30 years of service with Miller and its former corporate parent, Philip Morris.

"We made significant progress with our marketing during Bob's tenure, particularly with the rejuvenation of Miller Lite," said Adami. "He has been a great friend to many of us at Miller, and we wish him the very best."

A native of North Carolina, Long will join Miller on July 1, after fulfilling his notice obligation to Coca-Cola, as mandated by European law.

"I am coming to Miller because I think it is one of the single best opportunities in the business world today," said Long.

Until then, Charlie Frenette will serve as interim chief marketing officer. Frenette is also a former Coca-Cola executive, having served as the company's chief marketing officer and the head of European operations. Frenette currently serves on the Miller board of directors.

"Charlie understands our business extremely well, and has played a major role in our progress over the past year and a half," said Adami. "He will ensure that we have a very productive transition and that we keep a strong focus heading into the important summer selling season."

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