People on the move: September 2021

By Rachel Arthur

- Last updated on GMT


Related tags The coca-cola company keurig dr pepper Constellation brands

As industry stalwarts step down from top roles, new faces are ready to make their mark. We take a look at some of the people taking on new jobs in the beverage industry this month.

Keurig Dr Pepper: Tony Milikin

Keurig Dr Pepper Inc. has appointed Tony Milikin to the position of Chief Supply Chain Officer, effective this month, reporting to Chairman & CEO Bob Gamgort.

In the role, Milikin will have end-to-end supply chain responsibility for the company, including manufacturing, procurement, logistics, warehousing and quality, as well as environment, health and safety.

He succeeds Fernando Cortes, who is leaving KDP to pursue new opportunities, after 18 years with the Company.

Milikin joins KDP with more than 30 years of experience in supply chain operations. He was most recently Chief Procurement, Sustainability and Circular Ventures Officer at AB InBev. In that position, his responsibilities included global procurement spend and leadership of 70 manufacturing facilities and a robust sustainability agenda.

Prior to AB InBev, he was Senior Vice President of Supply Chain for Mead Westvaco and Vice President of Procurement and Logistics Operations for Sealy. 

AB InBev: Commercial team changes

Anheuser-Busch has announced a new commercial structure with key leadership changes.

First, Kyle Norrington, currently President of Labatt in Canada, will assume a new role as US Chief Commercial Officer, overseeing Sales and Marketing in the US.  

Second, Simon Wuestenberg, currently President of Anheuser-Busch’s wholly owned distributor business unit AB ONE, is appointed US Chief Sales Officer. 

Marcel Marcondes, currently US Chief Marketing Officer, is transitioning to a new role within AB InBev that will be announced at a later date.

And Benoit Garbe, currently US Chief Strategy Officer, will take over from Marcondes as US Chief Marketing Officer. 

BrewDog Japan: Daisaku Okuda

Daisaku Okuda will become Chief Operating Officer of BrewDog Japan: BrewDog’s joint venture with Asahi.

Okuda brings with him more than 30 years of experience in the drinks industry: including nearly 20 years with Asahi Japan, most recently as General Manager, Spirits & Liqueurs.

Okuda will work with a sales and marketing team based in offices in central Tokyo, working closely with BrewDog’s HQ in Ellon, Scotland.

Constellation Brands: Liz Lopez

Constellation Brands has appointed Liz Lopez as Vice President, Public Affairs.


Lopez (pictured right) will be responsible for representing the company’s interests at the international, federal, and state levels, working cross-functionally with all aspects of the business. She will serve as lead in government relations issues related to cannabis policies in the US.

“As the legislative environment continues to evolve, it is critical to Constellation’s long-term success that our voice is heard by decisionmakers on issues that matter to our business and to the communities where we live and work,”​ said Matt Stanton, Senior Vice President, Public Affairs.

“We are pleased to welcome Liz to the Constellation Brands family. We will greatly benefit from Liz’s impressive depth of knowledge and proven track record of advancing business objectives with the House and Senate leadership, the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, national community organizations, and many other key Washington, D.C., stakeholders.”

Based in Washington, D.C., Lopez joins the company with more than 15 years of experience, including several leadership roles, and has extensive background in public policy, regulatory, and governance. Lopez most recently served as In-House Counsel and Senior Director of Economic Development at YWCA USA.

Recognized for her leadership and expertise by the likes of The Hill, Aspen Institute, and the Hispanic National Bar Association, Lopez is a founding member of the Diversity in Government Relations Coalition launched in January 2021 and served as the President of the Hispanic Lobbyists Association from 2019 to 2020.

The Coca-Cola Company: Herbert A. Allen

Herbert A. Allen has retired from the Board of Directors of The Coca-Cola Company: stepping down after 39 years of service.

Allen joined the Coca-Cola board when the company was led by Chairman and CEO Roberto Goizueta. Allen went on to work with five other chairmen of the company, most recently James Quincey.

“On behalf of The Coca-Cola Company and its board of directors, I thank Herbert for his service,” ​said Quincey. “Herbert joined the board in 1982. Throughout the years, his counsel and sound judgment have guided company leadership through many evolutions. His positive impact on Coca-Cola will last far beyond his tenure on the board. We wish him all the best in the next chapter."

“The greatest part of serving as a director has been meeting and getting to know a wide variety of people in the company,”​ Allen said. “Whether bottlers, Coke employees, officers or company directors, virtually everyone has been part of an enriching experience.”

Beverage Partners International: Tony Parente

Beverage Partners International has appointed Tony Parente as COO, effective as of this month.

Tony will oversee BPI’s day-to-day operations, develop the strategic direction of the business and support BPI's expanding network of bottlers and distributors.

Following a long career in International Franchise Beverage Management at Cadbury Schweppes and then at The Coca-Cola Company, Tony was appointed Managing Director of start-up T&T Beverages, taking the brand from “zero to hero” in the UK.

He has held senior positions at Powershot UK, Coca-Cola Europe, The Monster Energy Drinks Company and Grenade UK, among others.

On his return to Coca-Cola Europe, Tony held the role of New Ventures Entrepreneur, a business unit working in key markets in Europe, inspired by startups such as Glacéau, ZICO and Honest Tea, developing new venture categories and new brands to drive incremental growth.

BPI is headquartered in Israel and Ireland, with regional offices including Singapore, Delhi, Manila, Tel Aviv, Vilnius and London.

“BPI is an International Beverage Innovation Hub that develops brands in the space of functionality, health and wellness,”​ noted Parente.

“BPI also has a strong cannabis beverages arm with strategic partnerships in the Israeli cutting-edge cannabis research world and strategic partnerships in the North American cannabis beverage market.

“There is great scope to develop the business from here, with rapidly changing consumer habits and demands for new craft and functional beverages, as well as supporting BPI's bottlers and distributors globally as they expand their beverage portfolios with new, inspiring and innovative products - from CBD beverages to Dilmah Premium Single source estate Iced Teas.”

Highland Spring

Les Montgomery

Bottled water company Highland Spring Group has announced that Les Montgomery (pictured right) will retire from his full-time role as Chief Executive, to become a Non-Executive Director of the company from the end of this year.

Chief Commercial Officer, Simon Oldham and Chief Operating Officer, Mark Steven will step up to be Joint Managing Directors of the business with immediate effect.

Montgomery joined Highland Spring Group in 1985: after a time as Finance Director he was appointed as Chief Executive in 2007.

“He has played a pivotal role in establishing the Group as a leading natural source waters producer, with Highland Spring now the No.1 brand in the UK market,”​ notes the company. During his tenure, he spearheaded the acquisitions of Speyside Glenlivet and the water division of Greencore Group plc, and achieved his ambition to double the size of the business, including turnover, from £50m to £100m which was met a few years ago.”

Over the last three years, Montgomery has also has worked on developing plans and an organisation to run the proposed Deposit Return Scheme (DRS) in Scotland.

Simon Oldham has over 25 years of FMCG commercial experience having begun his career at Procter & Gamble and has held previous roles in Sales, Marketing and Commercial planning functions including at Whyte & Mackay where he ran the UK Commercial team as Managing Director. Simon joined Highland Spring Group in 2010, originally as Sales Director. He will remain responsible for leading the company’s Sales, Marketing, Export, Technical and Supply Chain teams to create consumer demand and drive growth domestically and overseas.

Mark Steven joined the company as Group Finance Director in 2013, having previously been CFO with VION Food Group UK and has worked across a number of different industries both in the UK and overseas. He was appointed Chief Operating Officer in November 2018 and will continue to have overall responsibility for the management and setting of strategic direction for the Operations, Procurement, Finance, IT, Legal and HR functions.

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