(Corrects paragraph 4 to make clear only some of the company's
patents have expired. Incorporates an earlier correction that
fixed the first name of Coke unit's new president)
* Kelley appointment effective Dec. 3
* Kelley was slated to take over as Coca-Cola Refreshments
* Coca Cola names Glen Walter as Kelley's replacement
* Green Mountain shares rise 11 percent
Nov 20 Green Mountain Coffee Roasters Inc
appointed Coca-Cola Co executive Brian Kelley to
its top post, betting on a products specialist to replace
Lawrence Blanford who has led the company since 2007.
Kelley's appointment follows an almost eight-month CEO
search after Blanford told the board in February he planned to
Shares of the maker of Keurig single-serve coffee brewers
rose as much as 11 percent to $30.23 in early trading on the
Nasdaq on Tuesday.
Green Mountain investors will be looking at Kelley to turn
around the business at a time when the company is facing
increased competition from low-cost rivals after some of its
patents expired and it is fending off questions about its
business model and accounting practices.
Kelley, 51, has been the chief product supply officer for
Coca Cola Refreshments (CCR) -- the unit that represents most of
the company's North American business -- since October 2010, and
was slated to take over as president of the unit next January.
In an internal memo sent by CCR CEO Steve Cahillane to
management on Monday, Glen Walter was named president.
John Sicher, editor of Beverage Digest, said while Kelley
was a talented executive whose departure is a loss for Coke,
Walter would be a strong replacement.
"Coke won't miss a beat," Sicher 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. Under his employment agreement, Kelley is
also eligible to earn annual cash bonus with a target of 100
percent of his annual base salary.
Under Blanford's reign, the company rose from a little-known
Vermont-based coffee maker to one of the fastest-growing U.S.
companies, following its 2006 acquisition of Keurig, a
manufacturer of single-cup coffee machines.
Green Mountain's market value has increased five-fold since
Blanford took the top job from founder Robert Stiller in 2007.
But shares have fallen 41 percent this year.
(Reporting by Siddharth Cavale in Bangalore and Martinne Geller
in New York; Editing by Supriya Kurane and Saumyadeb