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Molson Coors CEO Retiring, Successor Named


Last updated on September 22nd, 2014 at 08:40 pm

Molson Coors Brewing Co. says that, after a 40-year career in the beer business, CEO and President Peter S. Swinburn will retire from the company and its board of directors on Dec. 31. The board has named Mark R. Hunter, currently CEO and president of Molson Coors Europe and a 25-year industry veteran, CEO and president of Molson Coors, effective upon Swinburn’s retirement, at which time he also will join the Denver, Colo.-based company’s board.

Swinburn, 61, who has served as Molson Coors’ CEO since 2008, will continue to lead the company until his retirement, working closely with the board and Hunter to ensure a smooth transition.

“On behalf of the board, I want to thank Peter for his extraordinary contributions over the past six years as our company’s CEO,” said Peter H. Coors, chairman of the board. “Peter has personified the values, culture and performance that have become the hallmark of our organization and, as a board, we respect his decision to retire and appreciate his continued leadership through this transition. Peter has led the company through a period of significant growth and change, with milestones that include the formation of the MillerCoors JV in the U.S., the acquisition of StarBev in Europe and the development of additional strong and growing global brands. Simply put, we are a stronger, more global and more dynamic company today as a result of Peter’s influence.”

Swinburn said, “It has been a privilege to be part of the Molson Coors organization for the past 12 years, and I am proud of all we have accomplished during my time here. Molson Coors has the right strategy in place, a strong financial foundation and some of the most dedicated and talented leaders—like Mark Hunter—in the beer industry. I am confident that under Mark’s leadership, the company’s best days are ahead. At the same time, it is business as usual at Molson Coors and we will remain focused on growing our brands and creating value for shareholders.”

Coors added, “…We are excited that we have an executive of Mark’s caliber who can seamlessly step into the CEO role. Mark is a true leader and brings a deep knowledge of all aspects of our business, as well as years of exceptional brand-building and commercial beer industry expertise. He is also recognized throughout our organization for his integrity and belief in the extraordinary people who make Molson Coors so successful. The board is confident that Mark is the right person to lead us going forward and continue our strong momentum.”

Hunter, 51, has served as CEO and president of Molson Coors Europe since January 2013. Prior to this role, he served as CEO and president of Central Europe and as CEO and president of MCBC U.K. Previously, from May 2005 to November 2007, he was chief commercial officer for Molson Coors Canada, where he was responsible for all sales and marketing activities.

From 1997-2005, he served on the board of Bass Brewers Ltd. and Coors Brewers Ltd. (now MCBC U.K.) as marketing director. During that time, Hunter had accountability for the Bass Brewers brand portfolio, including Carling plus business-unit strategy and export development. From 1989-1997, Hunter held marketing leadership roles for Bass Brewers. Before joining Bass Brewers in 1989, he held sales positions with Hallmark Cards and Bulmers Drinks.

Hunter holds a bachelor honours degree in marketing and business administration from the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow, Scotland, where he also was awarded an honorary doctorate in 2009.

“Molson Coors is extremely well positioned for growth, with world-renowned brands, strong market share across key geographies and the most talented and dedicated employees in the industry,” Hunter said. “I am grateful to the board for its vote of confidence and look forward to working closely with them and with our management team over the coming months to ensure a seamless transition and execute on our strategy for growing brands and shareholder value.”

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