Beam Suntory Taps Coke Marketer as New Global CMO

Rebecca Messina Joins Liquor Marketer After 22-Year Career With Coca-Cola

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Rebecca Messina, Beam Suntory Global CMO
Rebecca Messina, Beam Suntory Global CMO Credit: Beam Suntory
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Beam Suntory has hired former Coca-Cola Co. executive Rebecca Messina as its new senior VP-global chief marketing officer. She replaces Kevin George, who left the liquor marketer in October for sales and marketing agency Acosta Marketing Group, where he is CMO and president.

Ms. Messina spent 22 years at Coke, most recently serving as senior VP-marketing and innovation for venturing and emerging brands. She also held marketing leadership roles across several regions, including Europe and South America. Before taking the emerging brands role in 2014, she was VPglobal marketing capability and integration. That gave her responsibility over Coke's global marketing agenda "including the company's methods, practices and capabilities necessary for the pursuit of growth in today's market conditions," according to Beam Suntory.

She will report to Beam Suntory chairman and CEO Matt Shattock. "With experience as a global brand marketer, leader of fast-growing entrepreneurial premium brands and a leading developer of marketing capability, Rebecca will be a perfect fit for us as we pursue our ambitious growth objectives," Mr. Shattock said in a statement.

Chicago-area based Beam Suntory was formed in 2014 when Suntory Holdings Limited of Japan acquired Beam Inc. The marketer's brands include Jim Beam, Maker's Mark, Pinnacle Vodka, Sauza Tequila and the Skinnygirl line of cocktails, vodkas and wines.

Her departure from Coca-Cola comes in the wake of significant marketing personnel changes at the company, including the departure late last year of Wendy Clark. She left her role as president of sparkling brands and strategic marketing in North America late last year to become CEO of North America for DDB Worldwide.

A Coca-Cola spokeswoman said in a statement that: "Rebecca Messina is a great talent who has served as VEB's senior vice president of marketing and innovation for nearly two years. Her career with Coca-Cola has taken her around the world, and she has colleagues and friends throughout our global marketing organization. The company thanks Rebecca for her leadership and partnership. We wish her the best in her new role."