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."