Person of the Year
Rodney Sacks, CEO, Monster Beverage
Rodney Sacks pulled off three major triumphs this year to earn BevNET’s Person of the Year for 2014. First, Monster’s deal with the Coca-Cola Co. has broadened the company’s reach as a global brand while also opportunistically aligning it with an established partner who can simplify and amplify its route to market. The deal has, of course, also rewarded shareholders within the Monster family. Second, in terms of responsiveness, over the past two years, as regulatory pressure has come into the category, Monster has increased its transparency regarding ingredients and worked toward making adjustments that satisfy political inquiries without negatively impacting the brand. The Coke deal further established Monster as a company whose reputation cannot be questioned by associating it with this all-American brand.
Since facing up to the Senate last summer, Monster's legitimacy has only grown, while negative publicity has receded and the company's strong execution and appeal has allowed it to fly above the din. Third, the company's recent portfolio realignment has made it much more clearly into a beverage supplier that engages a variety of parts of the cooler, making consumer, distributor, and retailer understanding a quicker and more rational process. Under Rodney’s leadership, the company has made the transition from entrepreneurial business to mature, global brand -- no mean trick for any company, particularly one that has faced intense external competition, not to mention public scrutiny from the very start.