That’s a pretty fast rise for Jeff Popkin. Vita Coco announced that as of yesterday, the former Red Bull executive has gone from VP of Sales at Vita Coco to President. He joined the company 11 months ago.
It’s not surprising that Vita Coco would go to a veteran to keep the trains running on time as the company’s distribution network becomes both larger and more centralized via its ongoing relationship with DPSG.
Popkin certainly has experience in keeping an independent company humming through a large web, having held senior positions at both Red Bull North American and at Coors and Mike’s Hard Lemonade.
The move to put Popkin in a more executive position should let CEO and Co-Founder Michael Kirban step back from an increasingly frustrating role in dealing with day-to-day headaches — as recently as last year he complained that he was spending much of his time signing checks instead of thinking strategically.
Release is below:
Jeff B. Popkin has appointed president of Vita Coco in the U.S., a newly created role, effective August 1, 2012. Popkin was formerly the vice president of sales at the coconut water brand, joining Vita Coco in September 2011.
Michael Kirban, CEO and co-founder of Vita Coco says, “Jeff Popkin is a proven leader with extensive revenue growth experience, a history of building strong alliances with distributors and retailers, and a clear vision for the brand and the company’s future.”
“He has demonstrated success in leading our business in both emerging and developed markets, and he has played a critical role in making Vita Coco the first coconut water brand with a national distribution footprint,” continues Kirban. Vita Coco is now available in over 60,000 retailers nationwide.
“Jeff is the ideal person to spearhead our progress in the U.S.,” says Kirban.
Prior to joining Vita Coco, Popkin worked at Red Bull North America for three years, where he oversaw a 650-employee distribution organization and lead revenue growth in his territory from $200MM to over $500MM in 18 months. Before that, Popkin was CEO of beer distribution company KEG1, LLC. Popkin’s accomplished career includes senior management and sales positions at alcohol and non-alcohol brands, including Coors Brewing Company and Mike’s Hard Lemonade.
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