LONDON and DENVER — Tom Long has been appointed chief executive officer of MillerCoors, whose current CEO, Leo Kiely, is slated to retire in the coming weeks.
Tom Long has been appointed chief executive officer of MillerCoors, whose current CEO, Leo Kiely, is slated to retire in the coming weeks.
The company, a U.S. joint venture of SABMiller plc and Molson Coors Brewing Co., said Wednesday that Long, currently MillerCoors president and chief commercial officer, will take the chief executive reins on June 1, when Kiely’s retirement goes into effect.
"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 in a statement. "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."
Long’s succession as CEO and Kiely’s retirement reflect plans made in late 2007 when Molson Coors and SABMiller agreed to form MillerCoors, according to the company, which added that the two executives have shared duties in the Office of the CEO and President since September 2010 in preparation for the move.
"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," stated Peter Coors, chairman of Molson Coors Brewing Co. "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."
Before joining Miller Brewing Co. in 2005, Long spent 17 years at The Coca-Cola Co., 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 United States.
"Tom brings extensive experience to the table having served previously as chief executive officer and chief marketing officer of Miller Brewing Co.," commented SABMiller CEO 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."
The first CEO of MillerCoors, Kiely joined Coors Brewing Co. as chief operating officer in 1993 and was instrumental in the acquisition of what is now Molson Coors UK. He led the merger of Adolph Coors Co. and Molson Inc. in 2005 and then became president and chief executive of the new Molson Coors Brewing Co.
"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 remarked. "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 commented. "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."