Ventura Leaves Coba to Join PepsiCo Emerging Brands Unit

Arnold Ventura, the Stanford Business School-trained MBA who started the Coba line of Mexican themed drinks, has left the business to join PepsiCo’s Naked Emerging Brands group as a natural product channel strategist.

Ventura has left the brand in the hands of his partner, Jose Domene, with whom he started the company. Ventura had largely led the company’s efforts over the past few years, but “With Jose looking for a way to become more active, and this opportunity coming up here, it was a good chance to pass the baton,” he told BevNET.

Ventura, who memorably met with President Barack Obama last year as one of 15 business leaders invited to discuss the fiscal cliff, brought a measured touch to Coba as he built the brand.

Remarkably, at a time when strategic firms are investing heavily in entrepreneurial companies, Ventura’s hiring is the first time that a company founder has been brought on board to work with a strategic incubation unit.