After a six-month search, MillerCoors has identified its next chief marketing officer.
The company today announced that Michelle St. Jacques, who currently serves as the global head of brands and capabilities at The Kraft Heinz Company, would take over as CMO on February 4.
She is the first woman to ever hold the role, according to MillerCoors’ Behind the Beer blog.
In a note to distributors and employees, MillerCoors CEO Gavin Hattersley described St. Jacques as a “rising star” and said her “record of success with generations-old brands” would help the company as it looks to rebound from a tough 2018 in which off-premise volume sales declined more than 3 percent, according to market research firm IRI.
“As consumers continue to demand more from the brands they support, no one is better suited to take on that challenge than Michelle,” he wrote. “Her track record and progressive approach to building brand equity speak volumes, particularly in the consumer packaged goods space. She understands what makes brands unique, relevant and is ready to take our brands to the next level.”
St. Jacques takes over the position from former CMO David Kroll, who departed MillerCoors last July and is currently serving as the CEO of Coco5, a Chicago-based beverage company that produces flavored coconut waters.
At the time of Kroll’s departure, Hattersley said he would look to identify a replacement that could bring a “fresh perspective” to the company’s portfolio.
In her nearly five years with The Kraft Heinz Company, St. Jacques “led brand building across a portfolio of iconic brands from Kraft Mac & Cheese to Jell-O with new strategies to drive relevancy and growth with younger households and bold, new creative campaigns,” Hattersley wrote.
According to her LinkedIn profile, St. Jacques previously spent 7.5 years with Unilever, working on the company’s skin and deodorant brands. She also spent nearly seven years with SC Johnson.
At MillerCoors, St. Jacques will be tasked with overseeing a new ad campaign for Coors Light, the country’s second-largest beer brand, among other initiatives.
In his note, Hattersley said MillerCoors was “doubling the marketing budget” for its Blue Moon and Arnold Palmer Spiked brands, and “making big bets” on the Henry’s Hard Sparkling, Peroni and Cape Line offerings.
MillerCoors also appointed Brian Erhardt, the current vice president of the company’s Pacific region, as its new chief integrated supply chain officer. He replaces Fernando Palacios, who is retiring and will depart the company on February 28.
“Fernando has been a great ambassador for our brands and for quality in our business,” Hattersley wrote. “While Brian has big shoes to fill, his combination of commercial experience and supply chain expertise will be a great asset to MillerCoors.”