Jeff Popkin, who joined Vita Coco in September, 2011 and became its U.S. president just 11 months later, has left the company. Vita Coco today announced the news in a press release, which added that company co-founder and CEO Michael Kirban would take on Popkin’s responsibilities and serve as interim president.
It is unclear the reasons behind Popkin’s departure, however, Vita Coco spokesman Arthur Gallego stated that the company is “not commenting past this announcement.” When asked about the exact timing of the move, Gallego said that it was “effective today.” BevNET was unable to reach Popkin for immediate comment.
Hired as the company’s vice president of sales, Popkin arrived with a mandate to dramatically ramp up sales and distribution efforts for Vita Coco. Popkin, who was elevated to president of Vita Coco in the U.S. in August, 2012, has played an instrumental role in the growth and development of Vita Coco as a national brand and the undisputed leader of the coconut water category.
“We want to thank Jeff Popkin for his contributions to the brand’s North American growth the past 3-1/2 years, and we wish him well in his future endeavors,” Michael Kirban said in the release.
Prior to his appointment, Popkin has been an executive at Red Bull North America, where he lead a 650-person distribution organization and spearheaded revenue growth in his territory from $200 million to over $500 million in 18 months, according to Vita Coco.