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09/04/2018

Beer Mktg in Flux; 2 Top CMOs Out in 2 Weeks, 4 of Top 6 Change in 10 Mos

Traditional beer mktg under continued pressure and what comes next up in air as evinced by departure of MC CMO David Kroll and Boston Beer CMO Jonathan Potter in just 2 weeks in July, for very different reasons.  David faced mounting issues as MC trends deteriorated, especially Coors Light (see above). But Jonathan will leave Jul 31, even as Boston Beer trends accelerated and stock hit new highs.  So what gives? Unclear at presstime, tho Boston Beer founder Jim Koch has often had uneasy relationship with mktg (mktg = masturbation, selling = sex, he used to say). Jim didn’t hire his first mktg person until 1994, 10 yrs after he started Boston.  Or maybe Jon didn’t click with new ceo Dave Burwick? But given trends (except on its beers), Jon’s departure after just 2 yrs comes as a surprise.

Two other CMOs changed at top 6 beer suppliers in just last 10 mos. Recall, in Feb, HUSA’s then-cmo Nuno Teles left to become Diageo Beer CO USA prexy, where he’s presided over some pretty good trends.  Much better than at HUSA, in fact. HUSA still airing mktg developed by Nuno’s team.  Go figure. New HUSA cmo Jonnie Cahill came from global co. Then too, Pabst changed cmos late last yr as longtime chief mktg officer Dan McHugh left and Matt Bruhn came on. Matt formerly from Diageo.  At Constellation, cmo Jim Sabia put together easily most acclaimed beer mktg of recent yrs. But some changes there too as Jim got promoted to mkt all alc bevs for Constellation.  While promotion deserved, some distribs concerned he will now focus less of his attention on beer.  Only at AB, where Marcel Marcondes became veep mktg way back in Nov 2016 is mktg leadership exactly same as last yr. That’s ironic, since AB has had its own issues in terms of continuity in mktg.

Publishing Info

  • Year: 2018
  • Volume: 49
  • Issue #: 13
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