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Green Mountain Coffee Snags Its New CEO From Coke

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Nine months after announcing the retirement of President and CEO Lawrence Blanford, Green Mountain Coffee Roasters (Nasdaq: GMCR  ) announced this morning that it's found a replacement. New President and CEO Brian Kelley will take over, and take a seat on the Board of Directors as well, on Dec. 3.

Green Mountain's gain, though, is The Coca-Cola Company's (NYSE: KO  ) loss. Kelley, 51, had been set to take over as president of Coca-Cola Refreshments, Coke's North American business unit, on Jan. 1. He had been Coca-Cola Refreshments' chief product supply officer since October 2010 and previously worked as Coke's president of North America Business Integration.

Now, the soft-drinks giant will have to find a new exec, as Kelley jumps ship for the coffee roaster and maker of Keurig brewer machines. Coca-Cola Refreshments on Monday named Glen Walter to take Kelley's place as president of CCR. Walter is currently head of region sales for CCR.

Said Kelley in a GMCR press release: "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."

In some ways, trading in a job at a Coke subsidiary for one bossing an entire company is actually a step down for Kelley. With $21.5 billion in annual revenue, Coca-Cola Refreshments is several times larger than all of Green Mountain, which did only $3.6 billion in business over the last 12 months. On the other hand, Kelley will have more opportunity to make his mark at faster-growing Green Mountain, which has grown its revenues more than 10 times  over the past five years.



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