Green Mountain appoints Coke executive as CEO

Tue Nov 20, 2012 7:56am EST

(Reuters) - Green Mountain Coffee Roasters Inc (GMCR.O) appointed Coca-Cola Inc (KO.N) executive Brian Kelley to its top post, replacing Lawrence Blanford who had led the company since 2007.

Kelley's appointment follows an almost eight-month CEO search after Blanford in February told the board he planned to retire, the company said in a statement.

Shares of the maker of Keurig single-serve coffee brewers rose 4 percent to $28.50 before the bell on Tuesday.

Kelley, who will take charge on December 3, has been the chief product supply officer for Coca Cola Refreshments since October 2010 and was expected to take over as president of the unit next January.

"The appointment of Kelley, a proven consumer products executive, signals GMCR's intent to build upon its well-established expertise in single-serve beverages and to leverage its leading consumer brands, Keurig and Green Mountain Coffee," the company said.

Green Mountain will pay Kelley an annual base salary of $900,000 and a signing bonus of $600,000, the company said in a regulatory filing.

(Reporting by Siddharth Cavale in Bangalore; Editing by Supriya Kurane)

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