March 17, 2017 – Executive search firm Pickens & Company has placed Scott Moffitt as chief brand and beverage officer at Keurig Green Mountain. Barbara Pickens, the firm’s founder, led the assignment. In his new role, Mr. Moffitt leads the business’s beverage business unit as well as brand marketing for the Keurig system and its extensive portfolio of owned and licensed coffee, tea, and cocoa brands, including Green Mountain Coffee.
He comes to Keurig from Nintendo, where he headed the sales, marketing, digital, PR, social media, and shopper marketing functions for Nintendo’s $3 billion video games and gaming systems business in the North and South America region. Prior to that, he worked at Henkel Consumer Goods, where he led the North American Personal Care division, which included leading personal-care brands such as Dial, Right Guard, Tone, Coast and Pure & Natural. During his five years as SVP and general manager, he orchestrated a comprehensive transformation of the business, including acquisitions, gross margin expansion, and entrance into new categories.
Mr. Moffitt’s 20-plus years of leadership and marketing experience also include a formidable stint at PepsiCo, where he helped grow and revitalize SoBe Beverage Co. and spearheaded the launch of Mountain Dew Code Red and AMP Energy Drink. As a marketing director and manager, he also oversaw product development and repositioning efforts for an array of top beverage brands, including Mountain Dew, Sierra Mist, Aquafina, and Mug Old Fashioned Root Beer.
Consumer-Facing Company Focus
Keurig is a specialty coffee and coffeemaker company founded in 1981. It sources, produces, and sells coffee, hot cocoa, teas, and other beverages under various brands in portion packs for its Keurig brewing systems.
Pickens & Company is an executive search firm with a tight focus on consumer-facing companies, partnering with them in the identification, assessment and recruitment of senior level talent. The firm places talent in C-level general management, customer development and chief marketing officer roles.
Ms. Pickens began as a marketing recruiter, tracking and placing brand managers from top-tier CPG training companies (General Foods, Procter & Gamble, General Mills) into companies building their own brand management organizations. Over the years, she has been a recruiting partner to leading companies. The people she has recruited have contributed significantly to their companies’ value and been promoted and rewarded accordingly. She is known for recommending and placing candidates that are custom-fit to the unique requirements of each leadership position and cultural landscape.
Ms. Pickens sat down with Hunt Scanlon Media earlier this week to discuss the Keurig search and the challenge of recruiting executives into this unique C-level brand position.
Barbara, what type of leader was Keurig seeking?
Our remit was to identify candidates capable of having responsibility for the entire Keurig Green Mountain system consisting of technologically driven brewers and a portfolio 70 beverage brands (company owned brands, partner brands and licensed brands) such as Green Mountain Coffee, Tully’s, Laughing Man, Gloria Jeans, Lavazza, Caribou, Illy and many others.
What about specific skill sets?
Keurig was seeking a leader with a track record of marketing accomplishments on large brands in dynamic categories (e.g. beverages) combined with general management skills. The executive’s marketing toolkit had to include all contemporary methods of consumer communications, including heavy social and digital technologies layered on top of deep brand management / marketing experience within traditional consumer packaged goods.
“This is a hybrid position and there is not a deep pool of candidates who fit both sides of the profile. Candidates had to have entrepreneurial tendencies as Keurig is owned by an investment firm. The ability to operate with a lean staff in a fast paced environment was also key.”
Is the chief brand and beverage officer position common?
This is a unique role as the title implies and I haven’t seen it before. It was specifically designed to fit the strategy of the Keurig Green Mountain system. It was a unique profile in that it required someone with a combination of chief marketing officer skills with P&L general management skills. This is a hybrid position and there is not a deep pool of candidates who fit both sides of the profile. Candidates had to have entrepreneurial tendencies (act like an owner) as Keurig is owned by an investment firm. The ability to operate with a lean staff in a fast paced environment was also key.
What made Scott the perfect fit for this role?
Nintendo was a perfect analog for Keurig which sells coffee brewers and produces coffee pods for brands they own and for their partner brands (Dunkin, Starbucks, Peet’s, etc.). This is often referred to as a ‘razor and blade’ system. At Nintendo, Scott was heavily reliant on using the most progressive marketing methods to reach Nintendo’s consumer targets.
Contributed by Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor, Hunt Scanlon Media