Lesya Lysyj named CMO at Sam Adams-maker Boston Beer
Lesya Lysyj is leaving Welch's to get back in the brew business as chief marketing officer of Boston Beer Company, the maker of Sam Adams.
Lysyj since late 2017 has been U.S. president of Welch's Foods and before that was North American president for Weight Watchers. From 2011 to 2013 she was chief marketing officer at Heineken USA.
Boston Beer's CMO role has been vacant since Jon Potter left last July.
"Lesya's proven success building brands and leading innovation for several well-known and highly respected brands will make her a great addition to the company's leadership team," Boston Beer president and CEO Dave Burwick said in a statement. "She has the valuable experience we need to ensure our growing portfolio of beer and beyond beer brands and initiatives are well-positioned for growth"
Burwick took over as president and CEO of Boston Beer early last year after serving as CEO of Peet's Coffee. Burwick is a former CMO at Pepsi-Cola North America. He also spent time at Weight Watchers as president for North America from 2010-2012. Lysyj's stint at Weight Watchers began in late 2013.
Boston Beer has outperformed the broader beer industry of late. Sales volume is up 10.6 percent year-to-date, Beer Marketer's Insights reported earlier Tueday, citing Nielsen data. That compares with a 0.4 percent drop in the total beer category. Still, Boston Beer's volume growth slowed to 6 percent in the past four weeks, including a 12 percent decline in its Angry Orchard brand and a 20 percent drop for Sam Adams.
Sam Adams marketing has long featured its founder, Jim Koch, who remains a dominant force at the company. A new ad shows him in a cellar talking with a German brewer about the intricacies of lager brewing.
At Welch's Lysyj recently oversaw a campaign by Barton F. Graf targeting Gen X men. The effort, called "Tough as Grapes," included a darkly-lit spot touting grape juice as containing "the world's toughest antioxidants" by showing a man whose face is splattered in juice.
Lysyj was at Heineken while the brand ran an image-conscious global campaign called "Open Your World" that was praised in the creative community.
In a statement today, she said: "I am thrilled to be joining The Boston Beer Company and returning to the beer industry. I have long admired and respected what Jim Koch and his leadership team have accomplished to date building a portfolio of brands and remaining true to brewing the highest quality beer."