One week after announcing the company delivered top- and bottom-line growth for the first time in over a decade, Molson Coors Beverage Company (NYSE: TAP, TAP.A) (TSX: TPX.B, TPX.A) is announcing the creation of a centralized commercial function in its Americas business unit designed to accelerate its growth in the years ahead.
The new function will unite multiple teams and geographies around a single strategy, which is expected to drive clearer total portfolio and geographic prioritization and allow the company to scale new white spaces, brands and capabilities more quickly. The shift will also provide an opportunity for more commercial focus and support to Molson Coors’ non-alcohol and spirits portfolios, which are ready to scale after several years of successful growth.
“In 2022 we achieved top- and bottom-line growth for the first time in a long time, and our goal is to do so consistently year after year,” said Gavin Hattersley, President and CEO of Molson Coors. “We’re building on what we accomplished over the past three years, unlocking the next phase of growth for our business through greater collaboration, faster decision making, and stronger commercial support for our total portfolio.”
The full range of commercial operations in the U.S., Canada and Latin America, including sales, marketing, innovation, and digital strategy, as well as the company’s non-alcohol and liquor portfolios, will be included in the new function’s remit. As the company continues its transformation to a total beverage business, moving to a centralized commercial team helps ensure the beyond beer portfolio can fully benefit from the resources of the larger commercial structure. A new digital team will be charged with building a unified digital ecosystem across the Americas to support speed, consistency, and quality of output. The innovation team will now report directly into the larger commercial function to better align across the Americas and drive speed of innovation in beer, flavored beverages, non-alcohol products, liquor and more.
Michelle St. Jacques, who has served as Molson Coors’ Chief Marketing Officer since 2019, has been appointed Chief Commercial Officer. Her leadership has been integral to the company’s success in strengthening iconic core brands like Coors Light through the launch of “Made to Chill” and building a strong premium light portfolio strategy with clear right to win paths for both Miller Lite and Coors Light. St. Jacques has also accelerated Molson Coors’ above premium portfolio, building into new white spaces with successful innovations like Topo Chico Hard Seltzer and Simply Spiked Lemonade. Canadian-born, St. Jacques’ international commercial experience will be an asset in the new role.
“Since joining our company, Michelle has built a track record of building brands and attacking white spaces with a consumer-first mindset to effectively drive our business forward,” said Hattersley. “While many know of her creativity and bold swings in marketing, I have seen firsthand how she uses her growth and commercial mindset to collaborate across marketing, sales and the regions to maximize impact. In doing so, she not only demonstrated a deep understanding of the total business, she also earned the confidence of distributors and retailers alike. I am very happy that she will be taking on this new role as she helps drive our Americas business to new heights.”
“We have always been at our best when we work together and collaborate as one commercial team. Over the past few years, we’ve built an amazing partnership across sales and marketing, collaborated to drive a unified approach to building our global brands across the U.S., Canada and Latin America, and built our new go-to-market strategies across non-alc and hard liquor,” said St. Jacques. “With this new structure, I see a huge opportunity to go even further, scaling our brands, innovation and digital capabilities faster across the region and accelerating our ambitions as a beverage company.”
St. Jacques has selected Sofia Colucci as the company’s new Chief Marketing Officer. Colucci, who has earned a reputation for creative excellence, joined the organization in 2017 and currently serves as the global vice president of marketing for Miller Brands and economy. Under her leadership, Miller Lite is now the healthiest it has been in years, growing total category share in the U.S. Colucci excels in her ability to balance creativity with brand building to drive growth, evident in the launch of the Tastes Like Miller Time global creative platform, culturally relevant brand acts, and the recent success of Molson Coors’ first Super Bowl ad in over 30 years.
After successfully bringing Molson Coors into new categories and bringing brands like ZOA Energy and Five Trail whiskey to a point where they are ready to scale, current president of emerging growth, Pete Marino, will be leaving the business as he pursues his next entrepreneurial venture.
“Pete and his team turned a series of firsts for our business into emerging spaces in our portfolio, and now into scale plays in our industry. We would not be in a position to scale our emerging growth business if it were not for their work,” said Hattersley. “Personally, I’ve known Pete since pretty much the day I moved to the United States. He’s incredibly bright with a big heart and quick wit, and I look forward to following his future success.”
“Creating a new chief commercial officer role will take our great start in emerging growth to the next level, and I fully support the move. Making the transition into a beverage company is the right path for Molson Coors, and the new structure should help provide additional commercial support that will set up our non-alc and spirits teams for even faster growth as they move to scale,” said Marino. “I am so proud of the partnerships we have developed and the brands we have built. This is the right time to rethink our structure to accelerate the growth of these emerging brands by bringing them more fully into the broader business. I’ve always favored entrepreneurial opportunities, whether it was starting my own business a few years ago or bringing the emerging business to life at Molson Coors, and this is a good time for me to step out of the company and focus on my next entrepreneurial venture.”
The change comes after Molson Coors posted strong results in 2022, achieving top- and bottom-line growth for the first time in over a decade. The company’s portfolio of brands also turned in impressive results. For the first time in at least 15 years, in the fourth quarter of 2022, Coors Light and Miller Lite’s combined U.S. volume share exceeded Bud Light in tracked channels. In Canada, Molson Canadian grew revenue and industry share for the full year. The U.S. above premium portfolio gained the second-most dollar share of all major U.S. brewers in 2022. Additionally, ZOA Energy saw triple-digit brand volume growth in the fourth quarter as well as the full year, with trend acceleration in the quarter.
This press release includes “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the U.S. federal securities laws, including statements regarding Molson Coors’ strategy and organizational initiatives and goals. Although Molson Coors believes that the assumptions upon which its forward-looking statements are based are reasonable, it can give no assurance that these assumptions will prove to be correct. Actual events or results may differ materially from those contained in the forward-looking statements due to risks, uncertainties and assumptions. These factors include those detailed in Molson Coors’ public filings with the SEC, including its most recent Annual Report on Form 10-K. You should not place undue reliance on forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date they are made. Molson Coors does not undertake to update any forward-looking or other statements in this release, except as required by law.
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