Boston Beer Creates CMO Role

Former Moet Hennessy Exec Jonathan Potter to Lead Marketing for Sam Adams Maker

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Samuel Adams Double Agent IPL.
Samuel Adams Double Agent IPL. Credit: Samuel Adams via YouTube

Struggling craft brewer Boston Beer Co. has a new top marketing executive. The maker of Sam Adams today named former Moet Hennessy marketer Jonathan Potter as its chief marketing officer. The company did not previously have a CMO.

Mr. Potter, who starts in August, will oversee planning, development and execution of its brand development, marketing and advertising initiatives, according to a statement. He recently served as the managing director for Moet's Chandon brand division, which includes sparkling wines. Before that, he was Moet Hennessy's CMO and executive VP-brands. His resume includes a 13-year stint with Diageo, where he held various jobs including CMO for Diageo North America.

In recent years, Boston Beer's marketing was led by VP-brand development Robert Pagano. He left the company in March, according to his LinkedIn. His exit was confirmed by a Boston Beer spokeswoman.

"Jon's experience leading marketing and strategy for these recognizable and highly respected brands will be a great addition to the company's leadership team as we look ahead to ensure our key brands and initiatives are well-positioned for growth," Boston Beer CEO Martin Roper said in a statement.

In addition to Sam Adams, the marketer's brands include Angry Orchard Hard Cider, Twisted Tea and Truly Spiked and Sparkling, a newly launched alcoholic seltzer.

Larger craft beer marketers such as Boston Beer have begun experiencing sales headwinds after years of growth. Boston, along with Sierra Nevada, "are now both in decline" and "combined volumes for the top 12 craft brewers grew only 1% for the three months to May," Sanford C. Bernstein stated this week, citing Nielsen figures in a report titled "The Dramatic Slowdown of Craft Beer Continues."

Boston Beer's beer business volume declined 3.6% in the four weeks ending June 12, according to IRI figures recently cited by Beer Marketer's Insights.

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