Vita Coco snags Heineken's van Es as Americas marketing leader

Van Es most recently served as senior director of global brands at Heineken USA.

NEW YORK: Coconut water brand Vita Coco has appointed Charles van Es, previously senior director of global brands at Heineken USA, as head of marketing for the Americas.

Van Es, who joined the company this month, reports to CEO and cofounder Michael Kirban. He succeeds Jeff Rubenstein, former head of US marketing, who left Vita Coco earlier this year.

"Like many in the beverage industry these past 10 years, I’ve watched coconut water go from niche to national, so it’s exciting to join Vita Coco at this stage in the category and brand’s evolution," explained van Es via email.

He added that Vita Coco still has a lot of room to grow and increase awareness among consumers in the US.

"Vita Coco is a great fit for me," said van Es. "It’s a young, entrepreneurial company culture that emphasizes ingenuity and good, clean fun. You can’t say that about too many beverage brands these days."

He added: "In the end, it's water, from a coconut!"

Before Vita Coco, van Es worked at Heineken since 2003, where he started as a supply management trainee in the Netherlands.

He most recently served as senior director of global brands for Heineken USA in New York City since April 2013 after leading Newcastle Brown Ale as brand director for about two and a half years.

Heineken is actively seeking a replacement for van Es, said Tara Rush, interim SVP and chief corporate relations leader at Heineken. Rush took on the acting role following the departure of Stacey Tank in February, who left for The Home Depot.

In May, Vita Coco launched its first global ad campaign, pushing the tagline "Stupidly simple."

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