Molson Coors Brewing Company has appointed Pete Coors, the current vice chairman of the company's board of directors, as chairman.

Coors will succeed current chairman Eric Molson, who will assume the role of vice chairman with effect from 29 December.

The by-laws provide for the chairman and vice chairman to alternate between the Molson and Coors families on a periodic basis, the company said today (19 November).

Eric Molson has announced his intention to retire from the board following the annual shareholders' meeting in May. Andrew Molson, currently a board member, will assume his role.

Geoff Molson will be nominated to stand for election at the May shareholders' meeting to fill the directorship previously held by his father.

"Eric has done a remarkable job as chairman since the merger that brought our two great companies together," said Pete Coors. "Under his leadership, we delivered on the promises of the merger by exceeding every goal we set for ourselves from synergies to strengthening our core business.

"I look forward to continued engagement with our strong, independent board as we build on these successes."