People on the Move: CrossFit-Focused Beverage Brands Announce New Hires, Bill Lange Heads to Bolthouse

fitaid-canlegit_canKill Cliff and LifeAid, two beverage brands with strong followings within the CrossFit community, have announced new additions to their executive leadership teams.

As previously reported, Kill Cliff founder and CEO Todd Ehrlich has appointed Joe Driscoll as his successor. Driscoll heads to Kill Cliff as CEO from organic snack brand Angie’s Boomchickapop where he’d served as vice president of marketing since 2013. Ehrlich will remain on the Atlanta-based company’s board of directors.

Meanwhile Dan Leja and Jordan Shulman, two former sales managers at coconut water category leader Vita Coco, have headed to Kill Cliff competitor LifeAid. Leja, who most recently worked as director of distribution for Vita Coco, will serve as vice president of sales and distribution while Shulman joins the Santa Cruz-based company as vice president of sales and national accounts. In a press release LifeAID President Aaron Hinde celebrated the hires, calling Leja and Shulman “the ultimate go-getters” who “will be invaluable as we execute our strategy for expansion into natural and traditional retail.”

Bill LangeFollowing two brief stints at probiotic beverage brand KeVita and most recently cold-pressed juice company Pressed Juicery, Bill Lange has been hired at Bolthouse Farms. The former vice president of marketing at ZICO coconut water will work in the same capacity at Campbell’s-owned Bolthouse.

“We’re so excited that Bill joined the team, given his experience in the premium beverage segment and the categories that he’s been in,” Bolthouse Farms president Scott LaPorta told BevNET Monday.

Lange will also play a key role in product development as part of a cross-functional team that includes LaPorta and Joe DeStephano, Bolthouse Farms’ vice president of research and development.

Russell Barnett, who joined Kevita as chief marketing officer in April of 2015, has taken his talents to Just Goods, Inc., makers of JUST Water, which launched in Whole Foods last September.

Stevia-sweetened organic soda brand Veri has added two industry veterans to its executive leadership team. Michael J. O’Donnell, the former director of sales for Mountain Valley Spring Company, has come aboard as chief commercial officer while Eric Skae, the CEO of New Leaf Brands from 2004 to 2012, will serve as chairman of the company’s advisory board.

Lastly Kate Farms, makers of plant-based ready-to-drink meal replacements, has hired Michael Fougere as chief operating officer. Fougere’s career in the beverage business spans more than 20 years, including seven years as director of allied operations at the Coca-Cola Company, five years at Langers Juice as general manager of operations, three years at POMWonderful as director of operations, and more recently stints at Honest Tea and CytoSport.