• New Green Mountain Coffee CEO hired for $900K a year
     | November 20,2012

    WATERBURY — A 51-year-old Coca-Cola executive will be the new CEO and president of Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, Inc. beginning Dec. 3.

    The incoming executive, Brian Kelley, will be paid $900,000 annually in addition to a $600,000 signing bonus and $500,000 for relocation expenses. He'll also receive approximately $3 million worth of performance shares with GMCR, an amount determined by financial targets he achieves as well as other long-term opportunities.

    “You hope this is his last job,” said Norman Wesley, a retired executive and new Green Mountain Coffee Roasters board of directors member.

    “He's walking away from some vested equity at Coke,” Wesley said, “So we gave him an opportunity to make that up... most of which he has to earn.”

    The Waterbury-headquartered company has recently faced increasing competition from other beverage and food companies as some of its key patents expired in mid-September. Much of Green Mountain Coffee Roasters' success can be attributed to its Keurig product lines, including the single serving coffee machines and the K-cup serving packs. With the Keurig patents expiring, other companies have launched rival single-serving products.

    In October, GMCR announced it was creating a new international business position, which the head of its Canadian branch, Gérard Geoffrion, assumed. Wesley said the unit will be able to expand the business.

    The outgoing CEO and president, Larry Blanford, announced his decision to retire in February. He'll remain with the company until March 4 in order to help with the transition.

    For the complete story, see Wednesday's Times Argus.

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