John Cochran is leaving his position as president of Fiji Water Company to work at Pabst Brewing Company as its new CEO. Cochran joined the popular legacy brand less than a year after the company’s sale to food mogul and investor, Dean Metropoulous, who is known for purchasing and revitalizing established food brands like Bumble Bee Tuna and Vlasic Pickles.
Cochran will be looking to position the popular beer company as a “premier branded, growth business,” he said in a release. Metropoulous is looking to Cochran’s experience as a way to help grow Pabst in other geographic regions, the release noted.Cochran spent six years with the parent company of Fiji Water, Roll International (which also owns juice company POM Wonderful); previously, he worked with General Electric in Asia and as a Captain in the U.S. Air Force. Under Cochran, Fiji became the top-selling premium bottled water in the U.S. He will be joined at Pabst by new COO Christopher Steffanci, who was most recently the Senior Vice President and head of sales at Heineken USA.
The hire of Cochran means that Pabst has come full circle in a way, first losing and now gaining leadership from the non-alcoholic beverage industry. Cochran joins Pabst less than five months after his predecessor, beer industry veteran John Lennon, took the job of president of the fast-growing energy drink company XYIENCE.