23 Oct 2012

New head of drinks company thinking big

6:57 am on 23 October 2012

The new head of Charlie's plans to inject big brand thinking into his role at the drinks company after 17 years with Coca-Cola.

Chief executive Craig Cotton replaces Charlie's co-founder Stefan Lepionka, who has left after bedding in the company's transition to Asahi ownership.

The Japanese brewer bought Charlie's, which owns the Honest and Phoenix drinks brands, for $129 million last year.

Charlie's sells its drinks in 15 countries, with plans to expand.

Mr Cotton said he will use his international sales and marketing experience to push the brands in the United States, and will consider tapping into New Zealand's clean green image to promote them.

The company will continue to be run and managed from New Zealand.