E-Malt. E-Malt.com News article: World: Molson Coors Brewing Co. CEO to retire at the end of the year

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E-Malt.com News article: World: Molson Coors Brewing Co. CEO to retire at the end of the year
Brewery news

Molson Coors Brewing Co. Chief Executive Peter S. Swinburn will retire at the end of the year, and the chief of the company's European operations, Mark R. Hunter, will take over, the company announced on July 25.

The move comes weeks after Mr. Swinburn said he wouldn't rule out acquiring SABMiller PLC's 58% stake in U.S. joint venture MillerCoors if it became available. The matter came up because of speculation that the world's biggest brewer, Anheuser-Busch InBev, may try to acquire industry no. 2 SABMiller, a move that might require the divestiture of MillerCoors to satisfy antitrust concerns.

Mr. Swinburn, who is 61 years old and a 40-year beer industry veteran, has been chief executive of the Molson Canadian and Coors Light brewer since 2008.

"Peter has led the company through a period of significant growth and change, with milestones that include the formation of the MillerCoors JV in the U.S., the acquisition of StarBev in Europe, and the development of additional strong and growing global brands," Molson Coors Chairman Peter H. Coors said in a news release. "Simply put, we are a stronger, more global and more dynamic company today as a result of Peter's influence."

Recently, under Mr. Swinburn's direction, Molson Coors—the world's seventh-biggest brewer by volume in 2013, according to Euromonitor International—has focused on cutting debt levels, while planning to boost dividends. The company has also sought to expand its portfolio of higher-margin specialty and craft beers to bolster profit and North American demand.

Mr. Hunter, a 25-year veteran of the business, will also join Molson Coors's board when he takes over as chief executive after Mr. Swinburn's retirement, the company said.

30 July, 2014

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