Cott Corporation has appointed Tom Harrington, the chief executive of DS Services when it was acquired by the business in 2016, as its new CEO.
The water and coffee services company has announced that current CEO Jerry Fowden will transition to the role of executive chairman, replacing David Gibbons, who will retire. All of the changes will take effect when Cott’s next fiscal year begins in January.
Harrington said: “I welcome the opportunity and appreciate the trust that Jerry and the board have placed in me to continue to build upon the success already achieved. I am excited about continuing to work with Jerry and Cott’s senior leadership team to further build our leadership position as the preeminent international route based direct to consumer water and coffee solutions service provider.”
Outgoing CEO Jerry Fowden said: “On behalf of the board, I want to thank Dave for his leadership and tremendous service to Cott and his contributions to the board, which have created significant long-term value for all of Cott’s stakeholders. Under Dave’s leadership, we have successfully transitioned from a mature, low margin, private-label soft drink business with high big-box retail customer concentration to a growth-oriented, higher-margin business with much lower customer, product, and channel concentration.
“After a thorough and thoughtful succession planning process, Tom is the clear choice to lead Cott into the future as CEO. He is an accomplished, results-oriented leader, with significant industry knowledge and operational experience. He brings the vision and qualities needed for Cott to continue to execute on its strategic priorities. I fully expect that Tom’s transition to his new role as chief executive officer will be seamless and positive for the company.”
And outgoing chairman David Gibbons added: “It has been a tremendous privilege to lead the board over the past 11 years. I am proud of the achievements of the board and management during that time, specifically the recent transformation of the company into a growth-oriented water and coffee service provider, which I believe positions the company for long-term success. Our chief executive officer, Jerry Fowden, is the one who, with his team, deserves credit. I am pleased that Jerry will succeed me in his new role as executive chairman.”
Harrington is a former Coca-Cola executive who joined DS Services in January 2004, holding a number of senior roles including COO, SVP, and president of its West division. He had been promoted to CEO of DS Services by the time the business was acquired two years ago.
That acquisition was a part of the transformational journey that Cott has embarked on in the past two or three years; as well as acquiring DS Services, it also bought S&D Coffee, while a deal to divest its soft drinks bottling operation to European bottler Refresco was completed this January.
The announcement brings to a close Jerry Fowden’s nine-year tenure as CEO of Cott. It also coincides with the release of the company’s second-quarter results, in which it reported quarterly revenue 4% higher than last year at $604 million, plus net income of $12 million.
Its 2017 revenues stood at $2.27 billion – a 40% improvement, based on the integration of the two acquired businesses.
Speaking of its second-quarter performance, Fowden said: “I am especially pleased with the performance of our Route Based Services segment during the quarter as we continued to see top and bottom line growth even with inflation in areas such as freight and other [selling, general and administrative] costs. To counter expected inflation, management will be implementing pricing initiatives that are specifically designed to offset these cost increases within our Route Based Services segment.
“With the significant reductions in green coffee commodity costs, the revenues of our Coffee, Tea and Extract Solutions segment were reduced as such coffee price changes are passed through, up or down, as a part of our service agreements. With that said, our Coffee, Tea and Extract Solutions segment bottom line and cash flow continue to track in line with our current year expectations as well as our original acquisition model.”
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