MillerCoors promotes exec to CEO job

AP News
Posted: Apr 27, 2011 12:22 PM
MillerCoors promotes exec to CEO job

MillerCoors said Wednesday that Tom Long will take over as CEO of the brewer in June when its current CEO, Leo Kiely, retires.

Long, 53, is the president and chief commercial officer at Miller Coors.

MillerCoors is the U.S. joint venture of SAB Miller PLC and Molson Coors Brewing Co. Its beers include Miller Genuine Draft and Keystone Light.

The company said the succession is consistent with plans it made in late 2007 when the joint venture agreement was reached in an attempt to create a more competitive U.S. beer company.

The two men have worked closely together for more than a year preparing for the transition.

Long has an extended history in beverages. He joined the Miller Brewing Co. in 2005 and served as its CEO and chief marketing officer. Before that, he worked for 17 years at The Coca-Cola Co. in leadership positions.

Kiely, 64, helped guide the creation of MillerCoors as its first CEO, helped bring in the savings from the deal ahead of schedule and has it in on track for saving millions more. The company credits him with building a "rock solid foundation" that positions it well for the future.

MillerCoors does face a challenge as beer sales have slumped in the U.S. for some time, but the company has been able to maintain its profitability with higher prices and cost controls.

In its most recent fiscal year, the joint venture's net income rose 25 percent to $1.1 billion.