LONDON and DENVER, April 27, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- With a strong foundation for organic growth firmly in place at their U.S. joint venture, SABMiller plc (SAB.L) and Molson Coors Brewing Company (NYSE: TAP; TSX) today announced the appointment of MillerCoors President and Chief Commercial Officer Tom Long as the company's new chief executive officer following the decision of current CEO Leo Kiely to retire effective June 1, 2011.
"Tom is a seasoned and thoughtful business leader perfectly suited to take the reins from Leo and lead the next chapter of growth and development at MillerCoors," said Peter H. Coors, chairman of the board, Molson Coors Brewing Company. "A veteran of the U.S. and global beverage business, Tom has over two decades of experience in senior sales, marketing and general management roles. In his current role, Tom has delivered significant progress against all of our commercial goals since the launch of MillerCoors in July 2008."
Long's succession as CEO and Kiely's retirement are consistent with plans made in late 2007 when Molson Coors and SABMiller originally struck the deal to form MillerCoors with the goal of creating a stronger, more competitive U.S. brewer. The two leaders have shared duties in the Office of the CEO and President since September of 2010 in preparation for this move.
"Tom brings extensive experience to the table having served previously as chief executive officer and chief marketing officer of Miller Brewing Company," said SABMiller Chief Executive Graham Mackay. "He is a savvy operator with a keen intellect and boundless energy. It is gratifying to see his partnership with Leo produce the kind of orderly and smooth management succession that we envisioned during the integration planning process."
Prior to joining Miller Brewing Company in 2005, Long spent 17 years at The Coca-Cola Company, serving in key roles including president of the company's Northwest Europe Division, global vice president and director of strategic marketing, and vice president of national sales in the U.S. He holds a master's of business administration from Harvard Business School and a bachelor's degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
"I'm excited to take on the challenge of leading MillerCoors in the next phase of our journey to create America's best beer company," Long said. "I want to thank Leo for his leadership and partnership over the past three years. His wisdom, guidance and good judgment have left an indelible mark on MillerCoors and the strong foundation he has put in place will form the basis for growth and success across the MillerCoors network."
Kiely's successful tenure as the first CEO of MillerCoors punctuates a career marked by major accomplishments that helped transform the face of the U.S. beer industry. Kiely joined Coors Brewing Company as chief operating officer in 1993 and was instrumental in the acquisition of what is now Molson Coors UK. Known for his heads-in management style, affable personality and keen knowledge of the beer business, Kiely led the merger of Adolph Coors Company and Molson Inc. in 2005 and then became president and chief executive officer of the new Molson Coors Brewing Company.
"Leo has successfully guided the integration and start up of the new company, building a rock solid foundation that positions us to achieve our long-term vision of creating America's best beer company," Coors said. "While reliably delivering our promised synergies, strengthening the core positioning of our brands and greatly increasing pricing and profitability, Leo has coached and developed a unified management team that we believe is the best in the U.S. beer business."
At the helm of MillerCoors, Kiely delivered ahead of schedule on the company's promise of $500 million in synergies and put it well on track to deliver another $250 million in additional cost savings. In 2009, MillerCoors achieved EBITA of over $1 billion for the first time.
"It's been an honor and privilege to lead the winning team at MillerCoors," Kiely said. "I have always believed that people make it happen in the beer business and it's been a pleasure to see the passion, pride and bias for action that our folks bring to their work every day. I could not be more proud of the accomplishments we have made together as a team and I am excited that Tom will now have the opportunity to lead the company as our next CEO. It's the right time for a change, we have a great team, and Tom is the right guy for the top job."
Overview of MillerCoors
MillerCoors brews, markets and sells the MillerCoors portfolio of brands in the U.S. and Puerto Rico. Built on a foundation of great beer brands and nearly 300 years of brewing heritage, MillerCoors continues the commitment of its founders to brew the highest quality beers. MillerCoors is the second-largest beer company in America, capturing nearly 30 percent of U.S. beer sales. Led by two of the best-selling beers in the industry, MillerCoors has a broad portfolio of highly complementary brands across every major industry segment. Miller Lite is the great-tasting beer that established the American light beer category in 1975, and Coors Light is the brand that introduced consumers to Rocky Mountain cold refreshment. MillerCoors brews premium beers Coors Banquet and Miller Genuine Draft, and economy brands Miller High Life and Keystone Light. The company also offers innovative products such as MGD 64, Miller Chill and Sparks. Through its new craft and import company, Tenth and Blake, the company imports Peroni Nastro Azzurro, Pilsner Urquell and Grolsch and features craft brews from the Jacob Leinenkugel Brewing Company, Blue Moon Brewing Company and the Blitz-Weinhard Brewing Company. MillerCoors operates eight major breweries in the U.S., as well as the Leinenkugel's craft brewery in Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin, and two microbreweries, the 10th Street Brewery in Milwaukee and the Blue Moon Brewing Company at Coors Field in Denver. MillerCoors vision is to create the best beer company in America by driving profitable industry growth. MillerCoors insists on building its brands the right way through brewing quality, responsible marketing and environmental and community impact. MillerCoors is a joint venture of SABMiller plc and Molson Coors Brewing Company.
Overview of SABMiller
SABMiller plc is one of the world's largest brewers with brewing interests and distribution agreements across six continents. The group's wide portfolio of brands includes premium international beers such as Pilsner Urquell, Peroni Nastro Azzurro, Miller Genuine Draft and Grolsch, as well as leading local brands such as Aguila, Castle, Miller Lite, Snow and Tyskie. SABMiller plc is also one of the world's largest bottlers of Coca-Cola products. In the year ended March 31, 2010, the group reported $3,803 million adjusted pre-tax profit and group revenue of $26,350 million. SABMiller plc is listed on the London and Johannesburg stock exchanges. For more information on SABMiller plc, visit the company's website: www.sabmiller.com.
Overview of Molson Coors
Molson Coors Brewing Company is one of the world's largest brewers. It brews, markets and sells a portfolio of leading premium quality brands such as Coors Light, Molson Canadian, Molson Dry, Carling, Coors Banquet and Keystone Light in North America, Europe and Asia. For more information on Molson Coors Brewing Company, visit the company's web site, www.molsoncoors.com.
This press release includes "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the U.S. federal securities laws, and language indicating trends, such as "anticipated" and "expected". It also includes financial information, of which, as of the date of this press release, the Companies' independent auditors have not completed their review. Although the Companies believe that the assumptions upon which their respective financial information and their respective forward-looking statements are based are reasonable, they can give no assurance that these assumptions will prove to be correct. Important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from the Companies' projections and expectations are disclosed in Molson Coors' filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission or in SABMiller's annual report and accounts for the year ended March 31, 2010, and in other documents which are available on SABMiller's website at www.sabmiller.com. These factors include, among others, changes in consumer preferences and product trends; price discounting by major competitors; failure to realize anticipated results from synergy initiatives; and increases in costs generally. All forward-looking statements in this press release are expressly qualified by such cautionary statements and by reference to the underlying assumptions. Neither SABMiller nor Molson Coors undertakes to update forward-looking statements relating to their respective businesses, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise. You should not place undue reliance on any forward-looking statement. Neither SABMiller nor Molson Coors accepts any responsibility for any financial information contained in this press release relating to the business or operations or results or financial condition of the other or their respective groups.
SOURCE Molson Coors Brewing Company; SABMiller