The Hershey Corp. has taken a big step toward consolidating its investment in mix1, with Brian Murphy replacing John Burns as CEO.
The selection of Murphy, who comes from Hershey’s health and wellness strategy group, came after a search that stretched from the spring into the early summer. Hershey became the largest shareholder in mix1 in March, when it revealed itself to be an emerging investor in the entrepreneurial beverage market.
“I’m excited about the deepening relationship with Hershey and this provides further evidence of their long-term commitment to both the category and mix1,” Burns told BevNET. Murphy and Hershey did not comment for this story.
Burns, a venture capitalist who had been serving in an interim leadership role with the company, led the search for his own replacement. The switch became necessary after Burns left Highland Capital Partners earlier this year for a position with the investment arm of Lipman, a New York-based advertising and brand management firm. Highland’s consumer product-focused fund had made several investments in Mix1. Burns will remain as mix1’s chairman of the board.
Co-founder Greg Stroh left mix1 following Hershey’s investment, although Dr. James Rouse – another co-founder — remained with the company.
In addition to changes in its leadership ranks, the Hershey effect has already been felt at Mix1 in terms of its product mix, as well – Chocolate and Vanilla versions of its hybrid sports recovery and meal replacement product – powered by Hershey’s chocolate and vanilla flavoring capabilities – have already begun to hit the shelves.