GLOBAL: Molson Coors merges UK & Ireland with Central Europe

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Molson Coors has announced a raft of executive appointments as it absorbs its recently-purchased StarBev division in central Europe with its UK & Ireland operations.


The North American brewer, which completed the acquisition of Staropramen producer StarBev in June, said earlier today (1 October) that it will create a “new business segment”. Molson Coors Europe will see Molson Coors Central Europe, the name given to the former StarBev operations, merge with Molson Coors UK & Ireland, which will keep its offices in Burton-on-Trent.

The move, set to take effect from 1 January, will see Prague become the headquarters for the combined entity. When contacted by just-drinks, a spokesperson for Molson Coors in the US declined to comment on the possibility of job losses as a result. “It's too early to say,” the spokesperson said, but added that an MD for the UK & Ireland will be announced “later this week”.

Subsequently, Mark Hunter, the CEO of Molson Coors Central Europe and former head of the UK & Ireland unit, will become CEO of the new business. The current head of the UK & Ireland division, Stewart Glendinning, will become CEO of Molson Coors Canada, once Dave Perkins retires at the end of January.

Molson Coors Europe will comprise around 23.6m hectolitres of volume and US$2.3bn of net sales revenue, the firm said.

Separately, Molson Coors said today that Celso White, the chief supply chain officer for the international business, has been promoted to global chief supply chain officer, when Greg Wade retires from the position at the end of 2012.

Show the press release

Global brewer Molson Coors today announced the formation of a new business segment, Molson Coors Europe, by combining its existing businesses in the UK and Ireland with its recently-acquired business in nine Central European countries, effective January 1, 2013. Headquartered in Prague, Molson Coors Europe will comprise approximately 23.6 million hectoliters of volume and $2.3 billion of net sales revenue on a pro forma US GAAP basis for 2011. These figures represent approximately 38% of Molson Coors Brewing Company’s 2011 pro forma worldwide beer volume and 30% of global net sales revenue.

“This move makes us a stronger competitor,” said Peter Swinburn, CEO, Molson Coors. “It allows us to use our go-to-market resources more effectively in the region and promotes better sharing of commercial best practice and marketing expertise. With a larger European footprint, we’ll be able to negotiate better terms with suppliers, improve processes and integrate systems to increase efficiencies.”

Mark Hunter, currently CEO, Molson Coors Central Europe, has been named CEO of the new business. Prior to his current assignment, Hunter served as CEO, UK and Ireland and as Chief Commercial Officer for Molson Coors Canada. He has also served on the board of Bass Brewers as Marketing Director and on the board of Coors Brewers Ltd.

“Mark has gained deep insight into the Central Europe business and he brings extensive first-hand experience with the UK and Ireland to his new, expanded role,” noted Swinburn.

Stewart Glendinning, now CEO, UK and Ireland, will become CEO, Molson Coors Canada upon the retirement of current CEO Dave Perkins at the end of January, 2013. Prior to taking the helm in the UK, Glendinning was Global Chief Financial Officer. Before joining Molson Coors in 2005, he worked with KPMG and then The Hackett Group, both professional services companies where he held senior roles.

“Thanks to his years in the North American beer business, and as a member of the MillerCoors board of directors, Stewart brings the right combination of brand-building expertise and senior leadership experience to head-up our highly-successful Canadian team,” according to Swinburn.

Dave Perkins, CEO, Molson Coors Canada, has announced plans to retire after more than 30 years in the beer business. Prior to his current position, Perkins served as President, Global Brands and Market Development where he was responsible for the growth and expansion of the company’s business and brand portfolio in global markets. In this role, he led business operations in Asia, Europe, Mexico and the Caribbean. Before the merger with Adolph Coors Company, he served as Chief Market Development Officer for Molson Canada, and previously held the dual role of President of Molson USA and President of Market Development for Molson, Inc. in North America.

“It is fitting that Dave retires from the top job in Canada after spending so many successful years building the Molson brands as well as the lasting relationship between the Molson and Coors companies,” said Swinburn. “Dave’s achievements are too numerous to count—he’s a true beer champion and an outstanding business leader.”

In other leadership news, Celso White has been promoted to Global Chief Supply Chain Officer, following an announcement by Greg Wade to retire from this position at the end of 2012. White joined Molson Coors in September 2010 as Chief Supply Chain Officer for the international business, where he played a key role in the company’s emerging market growth strategy, leading expansions into China, India, Ukraine and Spain. Prior to Molson Coors, White spent five years as vice president and general manager with PepsiCo, Inc.’s Americas Concentrate Operations where he led all aspects of operations and supply chain for PepsiCo Concentrate throughout the Americas. White also brings R&D and process engineering experience from Campbell Soup Company and M&M/Mars, Inc.

“Celso is a dynamic leader with strong strategic, technical and leadership skills,” remarked Swinburn. “He brings a wealth of experience and a strong track record of performance in global markets that will help drive our growth strategy for many years to come.”

During his 12 years with Molson and Molson Coors, Greg Wade served in a number of senior positions including R&D, quality and operations, and he most recently led the global supply chain function as a member of the Executive Leadership Team. Prior to Molson Coors, Greg spent more than 20 years at Campbell Soup Company in leadership roles in R&D, quality and product development.

“Greg has been an invaluable member of the Molson Coors leadership team. His vast knowledge of both the operational and commercial side of our business helped deliver unprecedented levels of innovation and aggressive savings during his tenure,” noted Swinburn. “If you ask Greg to do something, consider it done, and brilliantly executed.”

Original source: Company Release

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