Coors Fills Long-Vacant CMO Post

CHICAGO Coors Brewing has tapped Hershey’s Andrew England to be chief marketing officer of the Molson Coors Brewing unit, effective Feb. 13, according to the company.

At the Golden, Colo., company, England will lead all areas of the company’s marketing efforts and focus on increasing the strength and relevance of Coors brands. The CMO post had been vacant since the departure of Ron Askew on Dec. 14, 2004.

England most recently was Hershey’s vice president of international marketing. Before that, he was general manager of the snack division, leading the candy giant’s efforts to expand its sweets portfolio into the broader snacking arena. England applied his cross-category skills into identifying opportunities in the cookie, cracker and candy segments, which led to launches of Hershey’s Cookies, Snack Barz and other products. He also was director of the Reese’s and Bites franchises.

“Andy brings to this position 20 years of extraordinary experience in marketing, sales and strategy and a strong track record of driving profitable growth for some of the nation’s most recognized brands,” said Frits van Paasschen, president and CEO of Coors Brewing. “His ability to launch and invigorate consumer brands make him a valuable addition to the Coors leadership team.”

A native of Epsom, England, he was also business director at Nabisco Biscuit Co.; Cadbury Schweppes, where he was category vice president of the Dr Pepper/7 Up unit; and vice president of marketing for OpenTable, an online restaurant reservation service.

Coors Light gained ground last year behind the “Cold Train” advertising by Foote Cone & Belding, Chicago, and the point-of-purchase promotions attached to the National Football League sponsorship. Year-end numbers from Information Resources show that Coors Light sales at grocery and drugstores increased 2.3 percent. Coors Brewing held on to its 10.6 share of the beer market this year, although total annual shipments slipped 0.7 percent, per estimates from Beer Marketer’s Insights.

The company spent nearly $165 million on advertising through October 2005, according to Nielsen Monitor-Plus.