MillerCoors names Gavin Hattersley interim CEO

The board of directors of MillerCoors LLC named Gavin Hattersley to the role of interim chief executive officer to lead the business when current CEO Tom Long retires June 30. Hattersley, 52, is currently the chief financial officer of Denver-based Molson Coors Brewing Co. and a former CFO of MillerCoors.

“As a board member, I have remained very close to the MillerCoors business,” Hattersley said. “MillerCoors has a wonderfully rich portfolio of brands and the passionate commitment of more than 8,000 employees, and I am ready to dive in and collaborate with MillerCoors leaders and distributor partners to grow our business.”

Hattersley will serve as interim CEO for up to six months until the board completes its search for a permanent successor. Meanwhile, he will continue as CFO of Molson Coors. Molson Coors and SABMiller Plc are parent companies of Chicago-based MillerCoors, which brews much of its beer in Milwaukee.

“Gavin is uniquely qualified to hold both roles,” said Mark Hunter, chief executive officer of Molson Coors. “Molson Coors won’t miss a beat because we have a strong bench of leadership and a highly capable finance team that will ensure our focus on financial strategy, reporting excellence, and creating shareholder value.”

“Gavin is an outstanding and trusted leader with ideal qualifications for the role,” said Pete Coors, chairman of MillerCoors and Molson Coors. “He has extensive beer industry knowledge and experience in the U.S. and on the global stage. His unique experience of having held top leadership positions with both parent companies and MillerCoors makes him the right choice to take the business forward with integrity and a strong sense of purpose.”

“Gavin is an excellent choice to lead MillerCoors,” added Alan Clark, deputy chairman and CEO of SABMiller. “He has the confidence of our most important stakeholders, including employees, distributors and investors. We already have a strong leadership team in place at MillerCoors, and now we have the right interim CEO to lead us through this transition.”

Prior to his current role, Hattersley served as executive vice president and CFO for MillerCoors, where he was recognized for establishing strong financial management and commercial disciplines for the business unit. Previously, he was senior vice president of finance for Miller Brewing Company. He came to Miller from SAB Limited in Johannesburg, South Africa, where he held several financial management positions before becoming CFO in 1999. Prior to joining SAB Limited, he spent almost 10 years at Barloworld Ltd.

For more information on Long’s retirement, click here.

In other MillerCoors news, the U.S. attorney’s office indicted a former MillerCoors vice president and seven others for allegedly embezzling at least $7 million from the company.

The criminal acts occurred between May 2013 and December 2013, according to the 20-count indictment released Wednesday, which states that the money was fraudulently obtained through false promotional events.

Among those charged are David Colletti, who was employed by MillerCoors from 1982 to 2013 in the roles of senior director of on premise national accounts and vice president of on premise national accounts. He worked in both the Milwaukee and Chicago offices, overseeing marketing, promotion and the sale of beer relating to events and promotions held by third-party vendors.

Through third-party food and beverage, marketing, and entertainment organizations, Colletti allegedly conspired with their operators to bill MillerCoors for fictitious promotional events and marketing services.  Colletti, who court records indicate resides in Oconomowoc, allegedly approved the fraudulent estimates and invoices.  

The others who were indicted are Roderick Groetzinger, Andrew Vallozzi, James Rittenberg, Scott Darst, Thomas Longhi, Francis Buonauro Jr. and Maryann Rozenberg. According to the indictment, they often arranged for Colletti to receive a portion of their payments.

The indictment states the swindled $7 million was used for personal expenses, collective firearms, international golf trips, hunting trips, investments in a hotel and bar, and an arena football team.

According to the indictment:

  • Groetzinger, of North Carolina, controlled a group of businesses including Beverage Marketing Services Inc., which obtained at least $1 million through at least 30 false estimates.
  • Vallozzi, of Florida, controlled a group of businesses including AVA Advertising, which obtained at least $1 million through at least 20 false estimates.
  • Rittenberg, of Chicago, and Darst, of Las Vegas, controlled Prime Promotions Inc. and P&D Marketing Inc., which obtained at least $3.5 million through at least 50 false estimates.
  • Longhi, of Florida, controlled Longhi Golf Operatios, which obtained at least $1 million through at least 25 false estimates.
  • Buonauro, Jr., of Florida, controlled F&B Marketing, which obtained at least $500,000 through at least 10 false estimates.
  • Rozenberg, of Dousman, controlled Golden Logistics, which obtained approximately $95,326 through at least eight false estimates. Rozenberg was also a former employee of MillerCoors from 1995 to 2008.

MillerCoors, which filed a civil suit in Milwaukee County in August 2014, released the following statement: “MillerCoors is satisfied that the U.S. Attorney’s office completed its investigation and today filed charges against Dave Colletti and seven other co-conspirators.  All along we’ve sought justice for the millions of dollars stolen from our company as these actions are intolerable and inexcusable.”

Finally, MillerCoors reported first quarter net income of $304.6 million, up from $291.2 million in the first quarter of 2014.

MillerCoors attributed the increase to higher net pricing, a positive sales mix and strong cost control.

The brewer’s net revenue per hectoliter was up 1.5 percent, while contract brewing volumes decreased 1 percent.

Cost of goods sold per hectoliter increased by 0.7 percent, which MillerCoors attributed to brewery inflation, higher costs associated with brand innovation and lower fixed-cost absorption due to lower volumes.

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