Tim Cofer will join Keurig Dr Pepper as chief operating officer Nov. 6, reporting to and working alongside Chairman and CEO Bob Gamgort to fill his role in 2024’s second quarter, the company announced after the market closed Wednesday.
Gamgort will serve as KDP’s executive chairman after the transition, said the company, which is based in Burlington, Massachusetts, and Frisco, Texas.
Cofer is a seasoned consumer packaged goods (CPG) executive with more than 30 years of multinational experience and a strong track record of driving growth, leading transformations and creating shareholder value, KDP said. He currently serves as CEO of Central Garden & Pet Co., Walnut Creek, California, where he has overseen a multiyear period of double-digit revenue and profit growth and a series of strategic acquisitions.
Before joining Central in 2019, Cofer spent more than 25 years with Mondelez International, Chicago, and its predecessor company, Kraft Foods, with responsibility across a wide range of product categories, including coffee, chocolate and packaged food.
In his last position as executive vice president and chief growth officer, Cofer “was a critical architect behind the company’s successful growth strategy,” KDP said. “He previously led several global regions, including as president of Asia Pacific, Middle East and Africa Mondelez International and president of Kraft Foods Europe.”
“We view today’s announcement favorably and expect investors will as well,” Goldman Sachs Equity Research said in a release. “We believe Mr. Cofer is a good fit given his public company CEO experience and decades-long history within the CPG space.”
Cofer’s biggest strength is his track record of successful mergers and acquisitions (M&A) integration, crucial “at a time when KDP has been active in sourcing value-added partnerships and further potential M&A opportunities,” Goldman Sachs said. “Therefore, we’re optimistic that when Mr. Cofer eventually takes over the reins as CEO, the company will be in a good position to enter its next phase of growth.”
In Cofer’s U.S.-focused roles of president of Kraft Pizza Co. and president of Oscar Mayer Foods, he oversaw manufacturing and distribution operations, including a nationwide direct-store delivery (DSD) network, KDP said. He also led the global integration of Kraft and Cadbury.
“I’m passionate about leading great companies, building iconic brands and developing exceptional people and teams, which, when combined, generate significant shareholder value,” Cofer said. “KDP is uniquely positioned as a pure-play beverage company with powerful brand equities in attractive categories, shepherded by an incredible team.”
Gamgort said Cofer is the ideal person to lead KDP in its next chapter.
“With his background as a successful public company CEO and a veteran CPG executive, Tim steps into this role with the experience and capabilities that will propel KDP’s growth journey.”
Keurig Dr Pepper has annual revenue of more than $14 billion and about 28,000 employees.
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