Kevin McClafferty, who presided over a highly successful launch and rapid growth of Marley’s Mellow Mood, has resigned as president and CEO of Viva Beverages, which markets the Marley brand, according to a report in Beverage Business Insights (BBI).
McClafferty, who joined Viva in 2010 and was elevated to president of the company in December 2011, informed the board of his decision on Monday, according to the report. While he lauded Viva as “a fantastic organization, with great employees [and] supportive investors,” McClafferty expressed satisfaction with the DSD network that he was instrumental in molding. It is unclear whether Viva has chosen a successor.
A longtime beverage industry veteran, McClafferty was the driving force behind the development of a national DSD network for the Marley brand, which, in collaboration with the family of Bob Marley, markets a line of relaxation teas, soda and iced coffee products emblazoned with an image of the reggae legend. Within two years of its launch, sales of Marley’s tea approached sales of 3 million cases through a swift, albeit carefully planned and executed, expansion in grocery and convenience store channels.
“It’s time,” McClafferty told BBI. “I’ve done what I’m best at, with the buildout.”
McClafferty said that he remains an equity shareholder in the company, and while he noted his experience as a specialist in early-stage companies, he will take a short respite before moving to a new position.
At press time, neither McClafferty nor executives from Viva could be reached for further comment.