The executive shuffle at Pabst Brewing Company continued on Thursday, as the company announced the appointment of a new chief marketing officer to oversee its entire portfolio of heritage, craft, import, cider and flavored malt beverage brands.
Matt Bruhn, who most recently served as the CMO for GWA Group Limited, an Australian supplier of building fixtures and fittings, will formally take over as the CMO of Pabst on October 2, according to a press release.
He supplants former CMO Dan McHugh, who was responsible for marketing the company’s heritage and local legends brands — like Pabst Blue Ribbon, one Star and Old Style — and not more “innovative” offerings, like Small Town Brewery’s Not Your Father’s Root Beer, or products produced by the company’s craft and import beer partners.
McHugh had served as Pabst’s CMO since March of 2012, 2 1/2 years before entrepreneur Eugene Kashper teamed up with private equity firm TSG Consumer Partners to purchase the 173-year old company. His last day with PBC will be September 29.
Bruhn has experience in the beverage alcohol segment, having previously worked with Diageo Plc. for seven years, eventually rising to become that company’s global brand director for Smirnoff.
Additionally, at least two other top executives have also departed the company in the last three months. Chief strategy officer Chris Barrow left the organization in July and regional vice president Terry Hopper, who joined Pabst after the company signed a marketing and distribution agreement with Vermont Hard Cider, where he was a VP, resigned earlier this month.
In today’s release, Pabst CEO Simon Thorpe, who only joined the company last December and has led the recent reorganization efforts, described Bruhn as a “world-class marketer.”
“Bringing him onboard is another critical step toward our goal of becoming a truly great American brewing company,” Thorpe said via the release. “Marketing is a crucial part of what we do and Matt is a proven leader with a strong track record for building organizations and brands.”
Thorpe also praised McHugh’s work as CMO.
“On behalf of the entire team, I’d like to thank Dan for his numerous contributions to Pabst,” he said. “So much of who we are and how we engage with our local communities is a result of Dan’s leadership over the past six years and we wish him well as he moves on to his next adventure.”
Additional information is available in the press release below.
Matt Bruhn to Join Pabst as CMO
LOS ANGELES–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Pabst Brewing Company (PBC), America’s largest independent brewer, announced today that it has named Matt Bruhn to the newly-created role of PBC Chief Marketing Officer, effective October 2, 2017. In this role, he will oversee marketing for the entire PBC portfolio, including heritage, imports, craft and other categories. Matt will take over the responsibilities of Dan McHugh, PBC’s previous CMO for the heritage brands, who will be leaving the company.
Matt previously served as Chief Marketing Officer for GWA Group Limited – Australia, where he led their business transformation from an industrial building business to a lifestyle brands business, generating positive growth trends each year. Prior to his role at GWA, Matt held the position of Global Senior Vice President, Smirnoff & Release Brands at Diageo PLC, where his focus was the delivery of ground-breaking marketing platforms for powerhouse brands including Smirnoff vodka, Cîroc vodka, Captain Morgan rum, and Diageo’s Venture Brand portfolio. Prior to his tenure at Diageo in the United States, Matt served in a variety of senior-level marketing roles at Diageo over a period of seven years in both Australia and Asia.
“Matt is a world-class marketer and bringing him onboard is another critical step toward our goal of becoming a truly great American brewing company,” said Simon Thorpe, CEO. “Marketing is a crucial part of what we do and Matt is a proven leader with a strong track record for building organizations and brands. He will focus on further strengthening PBC’s authentic and compelling brand propositions, including PBR and our heritage brands, as well as transformational marketing initiatives. On behalf of the entire team, I’d like to thank Dan for his numerous contributions to Pabst. So much of who we are and how we engage with our local communities is a result of Dan’s leadership over the past six years and we wish him well as he moves on to his next adventure.”
“Pabst has a compelling portfolio of iconic brands with strong foundations and tremendous growth potential – something I can really sink my teeth into,” added Matt. “I’m thrilled to join the company at such a pivotal time in its evolution and can’t wait to start working with the team.”
Matt, his wife Narelle, and their three children, Henry, Jack, and Molly are relocating from Sydney to Los Angeles, where Pabst is headquartered.
About Pabst Brewing Company
Since 1844, Pabst Brewing Company has been American-owned and operated, and is North America’s largest privately held brewing company. Pabst’s portfolio includes iconic brands with deep ties to America’s heritage, such as its flagship Pabst Blue Ribbon and others such as Ballantine IPA, Lone Star, Rainier, Schlitz, Old Style, National Bohemian, Stag, Stroh’s, and Old Milwaukee. In 2016, PBR won the Gold Medal in the American lager category at the Great American Beer Festival for the 4th time in a decade. Pabst Brewing Company was also named Large Brewing Company of the Year. For more information about Pabst, please visit: www.pabstbrewingco.com.