People Moves: New CEO at Balance Water; Pepsi Vet Joins McD’s


Premium spring water brand Balance Water has named Brian Pear as the company’s new CEO as part of a strategic realignment of the company’s senior management.

Pear is the current CEO for craft soda company Sipp Sparkling Organics, a job he assumed in January. He will continue maintain his role at Sipp while also managing day-to-day responsibilities Balance. Emil Capital Partners, a private investment firm based in Greenwich, Conn., holds stakes in both companies, along with several other CPG brands, including GoodBelly, Cheribundi and Pasta Chips.

In an interview with BevNET, Pear said that he was approached by Emil to take the reins at Balance. As part of the transition, Balance co-founders Martin Chalk and Peter Maher will return to their native Australia to support growing demand for Balance in the country, drawing on executive leadership experience in sales, marketing and operations.

The pair will also seek to expand Balance’s global footprint through a newly created international division based in Sydney.

“This is really an answer to the really aggressive growth in Australia that we’ve experienced the last couple of years,” Pear said.

Balance, which markets spring water infused with wild harvested Australian botanicals, has gone through a SKU consolidation in recent years. The brand previously offered five function-based varieties, which has been reduced to two: Balance and Cleanse.

“We will be able to compete quite well with a sharpened, clear brand equity message that you’ll see be brought to life in particular in the U.S. going forward,” Pear said.


Morgan Flatley is trading one iconic American corporate institution for another, as the PepsiCo veteran has been tapped as the new chief marketing officer at McDonald’s.

Flatley, an MBA graduate of Harvard Business School, joins the fast food giant after a 13-year career at Pepsi, during which she worked extensively with the Gatorade brand in various roles.

After starting as brand manager in 2006, Flatley served as director for consumer engagement from 2008-2010, followed by roles as senior director of global consumer engagement, VP of brand marketing and finally CMO for Gatorade and Pepsi’s sports performance water line Propel in May 2014. During her tenure at Gatorade, Flatley was credited for expanding the brand’s product offerings and overseeing award-winning marketing campaigns such as 2014’s “Made In NY” tribute to New York Yankees’ legend Derek Jeter and “Super Bowl Snapchat Dunk” in 2016.

In August 2016, Flatley was announced as senior vice president of Global Grains and chief marketing officer for PepsiCo’s Chicago-based Global Nutrition Group (GNG), where she was charged with leading innovation strategies to grow the flagship nutrition brands Quaker, Tropicana and Naked.

Flatley was tapped as a Grand Brand Genius, AdWeek’s highest honor, in 2015 and was named 2016 Advertising Woman of the Year by the Chicago Advertising Federation.

Her appointment comes amid a flurry of changes in McDonald’s corporate upper management; the company has also hired Starbucks VP Linda VanGosen as the head of U.S. menu and promoted Farhan Siddiqi to head of U.S. digital.