Molson Coors ups Adam Collins to comms head

Pete Marino is now president of emerging growth.

Adam Collins
Adam Collins

CHICAGO: Molson Coors Brewing Company has upped Adam Collins to chief communications and corporate affairs as current comms head Pete Marino becomes president of emerging growth.

In his Chicago-based role, Collins said he will oversee all internal and external comms. He started in the role on November 1 and reports to CEO Gavin Hattersley.

The promotion of Collins, formerly the VP of comms and community affairs, also marks the end of Marino’s more than two-decade career as a PR pro. Marino has served as the company’s chief comms and government affairs officer since 2014.

"As of today, I’m hanging up my comms and government affairs cleats and focusing all my attention and focus on my new job," Marino said via email.

Government affairs falls under Lee Reichert, who is now chief legal and government affairs officer.

As part of the restructuring, the company is changing its name to Molson Coors Beverage Company, effective January 2020.  The reason: It wants to expand into categories adjacent to beer, such as cannabis and kombucha. Meanwhile, it will go about revitalizing its Miller Lite and Coors Light brands.

The company is also axing up to 500 jobs. For Q3, Molson Coors delivered poor earnings results, with net sales down 3.2% year-over-year to $2.8 billion.

Collins said he won’t "speculate" on if those layoffs would affect comms staffers.

"It was an incredibly difficult decision we had to make," he added. "It was something leadership and the board agonized over deeply."

Collins said the $150 million the cuts will realize in cost-savings will be reinvested back into the business as Molson Coors builds out new capabilities in data and digital.

"We are working to streamline the organication so it can be faster and take more calculated risks," Collins said. "The landscape of the industry is changing moment by moment. We need to build a company and structure that allows us to go out there and succeed."

Molson Coors works with AOR ICF Next and a number of other agencies.

Marino said it "was always part of the plan" for him to transition from comms to full-time general management. In 2017, he became president of the company’s craft and import division, Tenth and Blake.

Collins, whom Marino described as "talented and sharp," joined then-MillerCoors so Marino could hand off his comms duties.

As president of emerging growth, Marino said he has a broad remit, including craft brands, cannabis, kombucha, its international group of Latin America and the Caribbean and any foray into wine and spirits. When opportunities arise, Molson Coors will drive growth through M&A.

"Extending my line management responsibilities as president of emerging growth and helping figure out what the growth spaces are for the company is a very exciting challenge and I’m ready to lean in on it," Marino said.

Marino’s ascent marks the latest in a string of PR pros leaving their trade for bigger responsibilities, most recently seen in David Albritton being named president of GM Defense and Stacy Tank being promoted to Home Depot’s VP of home services.

Over the course of his tenure as president of Tenth and Blake, Marino said division growth outpaced the U.S. craft category overall. There are five craft brands within Tenth and Blake and "each one of them are growing faster than their competitors," he added.

Editor's note: This story was updated on November 1 to correct the name of Molson Coors' CEO.

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