People Moves: Brian Krumrei Exits TSG

Brian Krumrei Exits TSG

Brian Krumrei has departed consumer products investment firm TSG Consumer Partners.

In an e-mail to BevNET in May, Krumrei, who was a managing director at TSG, said he had left the firm “to focus on earlier stage opportunities” as an independent angel investor. He declined to offer further comment.

During his 12 years at TSG, Krumrei was actively involved in several notable beverage deals. In August 2014, he helped complete the sale of CytoSport, makers of the Muscle Milk line of fitness-focused protein shakes, from TSG and the Pickett family to Hormel Foods Corporation. Krumrei also led TSG’s investment in functional drink brand Neuro, though the fund exited its minority position less than two years later. Prior to Krumrei’s hiring, TSG was an early backer of Glaceau, maker of vitaminwater and Smartwater, purchasing a 30 percent minority stake in 2003.

TSG has also backed several craft beer brands in recent years: the fund acquired a minority stake in Sweetwater Brewing Company in 2014, and recently invested $124 million in Scottish brewery BrewDog in April. Most prominently, TSG partnered with Eugene Kashper, the former U.S.-based chairman of Cyprus-based beverage company Oasis Beverages, to acquire iconic brewery Pabst Blue Ribbon through a newly formed company called Blue Ribbon Intermediate Holdings in 2014. As part of that deal, Krumrei joined Pabst as a director, a position he relinquished in May, according to his LinkedIn profile.

TSG has not commented on Krumrei’s exit. Earlier this month, the fund announced the appointment of Jessica Duran as chief financial officer, chief compliance officer and managing director.

Truong Leaves Zx Ventures

Dai Truong has departed from his role as global manager of Zx Ventures, the beverage-focused venture capital fund backed by Anheuser-Busch InBev, according to his LinkedIn profile.

Although his stay was relatively short, having joined Zx in January 2016, Truong’s tenure featured several notable investments in young brands aiming to disrupt the traditional alcoholic beverage category. During Truong’s time at the fund, Zx has participated in funding rounds for Owl’s Brew, which markets a variety of tea-based cocktail mixers and Radlers, and Kombrewcha, a maker of alcoholic (over 0.5 percent alcohol by volume) kombucha.

Zx Ventures has not issued any official statement regarding Truong’s employment status, but Truong’s LinkedIn page indicates he has founded a new company called Upside Talent, which is described as “a marketplace for companies to find executive recruiters best-fit (geography, industry role, etc) for their hiring needs. Truong will serve as CEO of the company, which is based in the greater New York City area.

Previous to joining Zx Ventures, Truong, a graduate of UCLA, was a director of business development at in Austin, Texas.

Nestle CMO Joins Advisory Board at Moonshine

Austin, Texas-based iced tea brand Moonshine Sweet Tea has welcomed Robert Case, former chief marketing officer at Nestle USA, as a member of its advisory board.

“The addition of Robert to our board will bring exceptional leadership and strategic direction to Moonshine Sweet Tea,” said Remmy Castillo, CEO of Moonshine Sweet Tea, in a press release. “His firsthand experience in the beverage industry—especially transforming the Nestlé USA Beverage Division from $800M to $2B in sales—brings invaluable knowledge that will help us reach even more discerning customers in one of the fastest-growing beverage categories.”

Case, an alum of the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, is a 30-year veteran of Nestle, having joined the company in 1986 as a marketing associate in the Carnation products division. He served in several marketing roles at the company before being named president of the beverage division in 2002, a position he held until transitioning to CMO in 2016.

New CMO at Boxed Water

Michigan-based company Boxed Water, which markets a line of purified water packaged in environmentally sustainable paper cartons, has appointed Rob Koenen as its new chief marketing officer.

Koenen joins the company after a career spent predominantly in clothing and apparel. From 1999 to 2006, he was vice president of product/global strategic management at Timberland, followed by a seven-year tenure as general manager and president of CAT Footwear at Wolverine World Wide. He joins Boxed Water after a nearly two-year stint as global vice president of product and marketing for men’s, apparel and kid’s categories at UGG Brand.

“Our highly engaged community wants to connect with Boxed Water through multiple touch-points in their day,” said Daryn Kuipers, CEO of Boxed Water, in a press release. “Rob is exactly the person we need to cultivate and extend thoughtful conversations around sustainability, with a proven record developing lifestyle brands.”