Vita Coco is bolstering its senior leadership team across the globe with the appointment of five new executives who will oversee a variety of domestic and international operations. The company announced the news in a press release Wednesday, with Vita Coco co-founder and CEO Michael Kirban stating that the new additions come as part of the company’s ramped up efforts to“[build] the team that can help turn Vita Coco into the next truly global beverage brand.”
Of the five new appointments, most notable is the hire of former PepsiCo vet Armando Amselem, who joins Vita Coco as Global Chief Financial Officer. Armando leaves PepsiCo after a 20 year stint in which he most recently held the position of General Manager of Tropicana North America.
“Armando’s broad expertise and leadership skills are invaluable to Vita Coco as we expand our brand’s availability and operations, globally,” Kirban added.
Meanwhile, current Vita Coco CFO Jose Carvalho will now be acting as Americas CFO and General Manager, Canada, heading up the brand’s North America financial operations. Markus Krebs has joined the company as EMEA Regional Director, a position he will carry out from Spain.
Finally, Coca-Cola Company veteran Prinz Pinakatt will be relocating to Vita Coco’s Singapore offices to take on his new role of vice president of marketing and sales for South Asia, while Patrick Wang will head up marketing operations for North Asia out of Hong Kong.
The company’s full press release can be found below:
NEW YORK–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Vita Coco® coconut water, now in its 11th year of business and today available in 30 countries, is strengthening its leadership and management in key and emerging markets.
Armando joins Vita Coco as Global Chief Financial Officer (CFO), a newly created role. He will be based in New York. Before joining Vita Coco, Armando spent 20 years at PepsiCo and was most recently General Manager of Tropicana North America, overseeing the brand’s billion-dollar business in the US and Canada. Prior to that, he was General Manager for PepsiCo France, one of the largest and fastest-growing subsidiaries of the global food and beverage giant in Europe. During his accomplished tenure with PepsiCo, Armando held senior financial, strategic planning and management roles in North America, Latin America, France, Switzerland and the UK, including the roles of CFO of PepsiCo France from 2001-05 and Vice President of Strategic Planning and M&A for PepsiCo Europe from 2006-07. Armando brings an extremely well-rounded skill set to Vita Coco as the brand broadens its presence outside North America.
Says Vita Coco co-founder and CEO Michael Kirban: “Armando’s broad expertise and leadership skills are invaluable to Vita Coco as we expand our brand’s availability and operations, globally. We’ve come a long way from me wearing roller blades and selling Vita Coco out of my backpack, and we still have a long way to go. I’m confident Armando and our other new executives will help us achieve our longstanding goal of being synonymous with coconut water.”
Jose has the new title and role of Americas CFO and General Manager, Canada. He will continue to be based in New York and oversee the brand’s financial operations in North America and diversify his role by simultaneously managing Vita Coco’s growing Canada business. Jose originally joined Vita Coco in 2010 as CFO.
Markus has joined Vita Coco’s EMEA operations as EMEA Regional Director, leading new expansion across emerging markets. In this newly created role, he will be based in Spain, a newer market for Vita Coco launched in early 2015. Prior to joining Vita Coco, Markus worked at Monster Energy in Europe, helping build significantly their business across EMEA regions from 2010-15. A veteran of the energy drinks industry, Markus bears the distinction of being one of the earliest employees of Red Bull Energy Drink, where he worked for over 15 years. Markus’ diverse background includes work for sporting goods and consumer electronics brands.
Prinz has been appointed to the newly created role of Vice President of Marketing & Sales, South Asia & Pacific. He joined Vita Coco in January 2015, working at Vita Coco headquarters in New York and leading efforts on the “Stupidly Simple®” ad campaign launched in July 2015, prior to relocating to Vita Coco offices in Singapore. Prinz joins Vita Coco after a successful 17-year career at The Coca-Cola Company, working for the beverage maker in both Europe and the US, overseeing several categories and most recently marketing partnerships with global key customers, Formula 1 and the NBA.
Patrick has been appointed to the newly created role of North Asia Marketing Director, overseeing marketing and branding in Greater China, Japan and South Korea. He will be based in Hong Kong. Prior to joining Vita Coco, Patrick worked for luxury menswear label Cerruti 1881 in Greater China, and oversaw brand building, CRM activities, visual merchandising, public relations and retail trade promotions. Before that, Patrick managed mySmoothie, the Swedish smoothie beverage line (like Vita Coco, also packaged in Tetra-Pak) overseeing all operations, marketing and sales programs across 15 countries spanning Europe, North America and Asia.
“These strategic hires in EMEA and APAC support our two fastest growing markets. We’re building the team that can help turn Vita Coco into the next truly global beverage brand,” says Kirban.
About Vita Coco®
Vita Coco is a leading coconut water beverage brand founded in New York and now available in 30 countries. Informed consumers, pro-athletes, health & wellness experts and in-the-know celebrities have all become fans of coconut water, swearing by the Vita Coco brand for its delicious flavor, hydration and replenishment properties. Visit www.vitacoco.com for more information.