People Moves: Firestone Walker Promotes David Macon; Boston Beer Appoints New Board Member

Firestone Walker Promotes David Macon to Chief Sales Officer

Firestone Walker promoted long-time sales and marketing director David Macon to chief sales officer last month.

Macon, who has spent nearly six years leading Firestone’s sales efforts, is one of the most respected sales executives in the business. Prior to joining the Paso Robles-headquartered craft brewery, Macon spent 14 years in sales director roles at New Belgium.

According to market research firm IRI, Firestone Walker ranked as the 20th largest beer company in the U.S. in 2019. Portfolio-wide off-premise dollar sales for the brewery increased nearly 21%, to nearly $84.3 million, in multi-outlet and convenience stores tracked by the firm last year. The company’s flagship 805 blonde ale ranked as the ninth best selling craft beer, growing dollar sales 12.7%, to $60.4 million.

In 2018, Firestone Walker ranked as the seventh largest Brewers Association-defined craft brewery by volume, after increasing production 12%, to 454,261 barrels of beer.

Boston Beer Company Appoints Julio Nemeth to Board

The Boston Beer Company has added Julio Nemeth to its board of directors, effective January 31.

Nemeth currently serves as chief product supply officer for consumer goods giant Procter & Gamble, where he has worked for three decades. At P&G, Nemeth also serves as executive sponsor of the Hispanic Leadership Team and the People with Disabilities Network.

“Julio’s exceptional experience spans more than three and a half decades working in consumer goods and manufacturing environments,” Boston Beer founder Jim Koch said in a press release. “I’ve always admired P&G for the quality of their products and the innovation in their manufacturing systems. Julio’s accomplishments in operations, engineering, innovation, and supply chain management will complement the deep breadth of expertise on our Board.”

Nemeth, who will serve as an independent Class B director, added: “I’ve watched in appreciation as The Boston Beer Company has grown tremendously in innovation, size, and complexity of products over the past few decades. It’s inspiring to watch the passion and enthusiasm that drives the company every day, and I’m looking forward to joining the Board at this exciting time in the company’s growth.”

Nearly a year ago, Boston Beer appointed Oscar Health COO Meghan Joyce to the board, which was established in 1995.

Heineken USA Hires Chief Legal Officer

Heineken USA (HUSA) has named J. Carlos Kuri as senior vice president and chief legal officer.

Kuri, who started with the company in December, comes to HUSA from Red Bull North America, where he spent more than a decade, last serving as senior vice president and general counsel.

“Carlos brings experience with three-tier distribution, a history of supporting and protecting beloved global brands and a passion for innovation,” the company said in a statement. “This background, coupled with his leadership experience sets him up to be a strong contributor to our company.”

Kuri supplants Julie Kinch, who exited the company last June after a 20-year career.

A-Rod Becomes Chairman of A-B InBev’s Presidente

Former New York Yankees star Alex Rodriguez has made a minority investment in Anheuser-Busch InBev-owned Dominican beer brand Presidente.

Rodriguez will serve as chairman of Presidente USA in an effort to build awareness for the brand in the U.S. That effort started strong last weekend with Rodriguez featured in a Presidente commercial during the Super Bowl.

“We have an incredible brand that’s been around since 1935, but in the U.S. it only started [being for sale] in the early ’90s in Miami, so it’s a very, very young brand,” Rodriguez told Fast Company. “In many ways it’s going to be an introduction to the 80% of Americans who don’t know it, and a reintroduction to the 20% or so that do.”

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