Chief Customer Officer and beer industry veteran Brian Feiro today was named Molson Coors' president of U.S. sales, effective Dec. 31. He will replace Kevin Doyle, an industry legend who will retire after nearly 40 years with the company.
Feiro, 44, joined Molson Coors in 2002 and began a methodical ascent through the company’s U.S. sales organization. He served in distributor management and sales operations roles, then as a director on the national accounts team, as a regional chain director and as a vice president of the company’s Central region before rising to chief customer officer in early 2021, where he has helped the Molson Coors off-premise chain team return to the No. 1 supplier position in the latest industry survey by Tamarron Consulting.
Feiro will lead Molson Coors’ largest sales team in its biggest and most important market at a crucial time in the company’s history and amid fundamental changes in the beverage industry.
“Brian is a competitor with high expectations of himself and our business, and I’m confident he’ll lead our team to new heights,” Molson Coors CEO Gavin Hattersley said. “I have seen firsthand his passion for our industry, his competitiveness and his deep knowledge of what it takes to make our brands win in the marketplace. While there’s no doubt Kevin leaves big shoes to fill, I know Brian will wear them well.”
Feiro will step in for Kevin Doyle, who held virtually every sales role with Miller Brewing Company, SAB Miller, MillerCoors and Molson Coors. He guided the launch of brands ranging from Miller Genuine Draft in 1986 to Simply Spiked Lemonade in June, and built the leading chain-selling team in the U.S., first for Miller and later for MillerCoors and Molson Coors.
Capping a storied career in beer
Doyle, 62, will retire leaving a storied legacy filled with a lifetime’s worth of blockbuster achievements during his 39-year tenure at the company. He established Molson Coors’ chain sales and on-premise sales organizations, pioneered its industry-leading category management and sales analytics programs and helped lead the integration of Miller and Coors upon the formation of the MillerCoors joint-venture in 2008.
Hard-driving and ultra-competitive, the Miller High Life aficionado and consummate salesman maintained an outsize presence on the Molson Coors leadership team and among distributors, many of whom Doyle considers lifelong friends.
Doyle, who cut his teeth in the business managing Fat Harry’s bar in New Orleans while in college and later won a merchandiser job in 1981 at Crescent Crown Distributing (at the time Miller Brewing-owned), “understands the business and the industry inside and out, has a photographic memory for numbers and a competitive spirit few can match,” Hattersley said. Those traits led him to “a remarkable career that has earned him a lasting legacy in our industry.”
For all of his famous competitive fire, however, “Kevin has never forgotten where he came from, and he has always cared deeply about the people on his team. If there’s one thing I’ve learned about Kevin over the past 20 years, it’s this: He’s a good man who has become a friend to countless people in our business and across our industry,” Hattersley said.
What Doyle will miss the most is the people he’s met and befriended over the years, he said. “This is the best team I’ve ever worked with. I’ve got a lot of personal friendships inside Molson Coors and among our partners. We’ve been through hell and high water together, and that will bond you for the rest of your life.”
Before departing to spend more time with his wife, Sue Smith, and his five children (Colleen, Casey, Nick, Katie and Lizzy), he’ll take the next five months assisting Feiro, whose career he’s helped nurture and advance, in his transition.
“Brian knows this business. There’s no better person to lead this sales organization than him. He’s an amazing talent, and he has all of the relevant background. He’s a guy who was on a truck. He was in the field. He understands distributors and customers and knows how to run a big business,” Doyle said. “In this role, Brian needs to be Brian. He needs to listen and be in the market with folks because that’s where all the action is.”
From the Northwoods to the top sales job
Feiro, a Duluth, Minn., native who was a starting goalie on a Duluth Central High School team that made the Minnesota State Hockey Tournament, started his career loading trucks for a Miller distributor in northern Minnesota.
He was hired by Miller Brewing in 2002 as a sales manager, servicing 10 distributors in northern Minnesota that combined to sell about 2 million cases per year. From there, he made stops in Wisconsin, Ohio, North Carolina, Arkansas and Texas before settling back in the Chicago area with his wife, Katie, and son, Johnathan, upon his appointment as chief customer officer.
Feiro said he is “beyond excited to take on the new role,” but noted that his promotion is bittersweet.
“I’ve worked for Kevin since 2004, and I owe him everything for my career. He gave me the opportunity to do things I’d never thought I’d do. He even gave me some opportunities that frankly I’m not sure I was ready for. But his belief in me all the way led me to where we are today,” he said.
Feiro enters the top sales role at a unique time in the company’s history. Molson Coors is growing total revenue. Seven of its top 10 brands — including workhorses Coors Light and Miller Lite (Feiro’s beer of choice) — are growing sales dollars. And the company successfully has premiumized its portfolio with the addition of the fastest-growing hard seltzer portfolio among major brewers, the launch of Simply Spiked Lemonade and continued growth of brands like Blue Moon and Peroni.
“I’ve been here for 20 years, and I’ve never seen our share performance like this,” Feiro said. “The fact that we’re one of only two major brewers taking share in this market – we haven’t been in this position maybe in the history of ever. The business is healthy, and there’s a renewed optimism that provides us a great opportunity to bolster our network’s confidence in us as a supplier.”
Feiro said that’s priority No. 1: Strengthening Molson Coors’ relationship with its network. That includes driving engagement among its distributor partners as well as his sales team.
“My intention is to engage a ton with our network,” he said. “I’m ready to listen, I’m open to new ways of thinking, and I’m interested in doing whatever it takes to advance the state of our relationship.”
He also wants to continue building the team’s culture, infuse more diverse talent into Molson Coors’ sales organization, help elevate the company’s performance in categories adjacent to beer and continue his work modernizing Molson Coors’ chain strategy.
“I have literally grown up in this company. I care about the people in this organization, and I feel a tremendous responsibility to take care of them, our portfolio and help contribute to the success of this company and shape its legacy,” Feiro said. “And, as I’ve done since Day 1, I’m going to show up.”