Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, Inc., (GMCR) announced Brian Kelley will become president and chief executive officer and a member of the board of directors effective Dec. 3, 2012.
The appointment of Kelley, a proven consumer products executive, signals GMCR's intent to build upon its well-established expertise in single-serve beverages and to leverage its leading consumer brands, Keurig® and Green Mountain Coffee®. Kelley will succeed GMCR's current president and CEO, Lawrence J. Blanford, who in February 2012 shared his plans to retire from the company and has been working with the company's board of directors to identify a successor.
"GMCR is a company with strong character and compelling purpose, coupled with strong brands and products about which consumers are passionate. With its truly disruptive Keurig® brewing technology, GMCR's accomplished something unique in the world of consumer products: it is changing consumer behavior by changing the way we brew and enjoy coffee," said Kelley, in a prepared statement. "I am honored and excited by the opportunity to lead this organization whose products have sparked unparalleled growth in specialty coffee, and I look forward to working with its dedicated employees to drive continued growth and to deliver new innovations."
Kelley was named president of Coca-Cola Refreshments in September 2012, to be effective Jan. 1, 2013. Coca-Cola Refreshments is the Coca-Cola Co.'s North America business unit with 68,000 employees. Kelley has been chief product supply officer, Coca Cola Refreshments since October, 2010. In his prior role as president of North America Business Integration, he led the total integration of the acquisition of the North American assets of Coca-Cola Enterprises, combining Coca-Cola North America and Coca-Cola Enterprises' North American operations into a new company, Coca-Cola Refreshments.
"With leading consumer brands, compelling distribution and relationships, and an ongoing commitment to funding innovation to leverage its single-serve expertise, we knew that GMCR's next leader had to possess a strong combination of operational expertise, consumer product and brand experience and strategic insight," said Michael J. Mardy, interim chairman of the board of directors. "The board of directors conducted a thorough and robust search process which produced this outstanding leader who is ideally suited to lead GMCR as the company continues to grow and evolve."
Lawrence J. Blanford has been president and CEO of GMCR since assuming the role from the company's founder, Bob Stiller, in 2007.
Mardy continued, "Under Larry's leadership over the last five years, GMCR evolved from what was a regional coffee roaster to an established leader in single-serve beverages with more than 5,800 employees across North America. We are grateful to Larry for his guidance and dedication and look forward to his insight during what we believe will be a very smooth and seamless transitional period."
"I could not be more proud of what the GMCR organization has accomplished during my tenure," said Lawrence J. Blanford, president and CEO. "I am certain that Brian is the right successor and will enable the Company to fulfill what I believe is its tremendous potential. I look forward to working closely with him to ensure a smooth leadership transition."