- Keurig Dr Pepper said Tim Cofer will join the beverage maker as its chief operating officer on Nov. 6 before transitioning to CEO in the second quarter of 2024. Bob Gamgort, the company’s current CEO, will serve as executive chairman after the transition.
- Cofer, currently the CEO of Central Garden & Pet, previously spent more than 25 years with Mondelēz International and its predecessor company, Kraft Foods. He held responsibilities across several product categories, including coffee, chocolate and packaged food.
- Last year, Keurig Dr Pepper appointed Ozan Dokmecioglu to take over for Gamgort, but he resigned after about four months “due to violations of the company’s code of conduct.” Gamgort reassumed the CEO role.
After stumbling in its earlier attempt to find a new leader, Keurig Dr Pepper is going outside the company for what it hopes will be a permanent successor to Gamgort.
Cofer is no stranger to the CPG space. But rather than thrusting him into the CEO role, Keurig Dr Pepper is giving him time to get up to speed as COO. The transition period will allow Cofer to get acclimated to the business before he ascends to the top post in the first half of next year.
Still, Cofer’s quarter-century working for Mondelēz and Kraft should allow him to start with a deep understanding of the food and beverage industry as well as evolving consumer trends.
The Texas-based coffee, water and soda maker said Cofer will initially drive the company's strategic growth agenda and oversee operations with Gamgort. He “will play a significant leadership role” in each of the company’s business segments, Keurig Dr Pepper said.
“Tim is the ideal person to lead KDP in its next chapter,” Gamgort said in a statement. “With his background as a successful public company CEO and a veteran CPG executive, Tim steps into this role with the experience and capabilities that will propel KDP’s growth journey.”
In Cofer’s last position as Mondelēz’s executive vice president and chief growth officer, Keurig Dr Pepper noted he was a “critical architect behind the company’s successful growth strategy.” He will have similar responsibilities at Keurig Dr Pepper and will be charged with furthering Gamgort growth plans for the company.
Gamgort had been the CEO of the former Keurig Green Mountain since 2016 after the coffee company went private. When it merged with Dr Pepper Snapple in 2018, Gamgort became the leader of the publicly traded beverage company.
Since then, Gamgort has been instrumental in integrating the two companies and growing sales. Last year, Keurig Dr Pepper posted sales of $14.1 billion compared to $11.1 billion in 2019, which was the first full year of the combined company.
A key part of Gamgort’s strategy has been investing in, striking distribution partnerships with, or buying beverage brands in trendy areas that complement the company’s existing portfolio that includes Snapple, 7-Up and Canada Dry.
Last year, Keurig Dr Pepper purchased a minority stake in nonalcoholic craft beer maker Athletic Brewing through a $50 million investment. The company also acquired a 30% stake in Nutrabolt, the maker of energy drinks such as C4 Energy and Xtend Energy, for $863 million. In July of this year, the beverage giant paid $300 million for a 33% stake in the coffee brand La Colombe.
“I’m passionate about leading great companies, building iconic brands and developing exceptional people and teams,” Cofer noted. Keurig Dr Pepper “is uniquely positioned as a pure-play beverage company with powerful brand equities in attractive categories.”