Beverage leaders inspire innovation, guide their companies through good times and bad, and lead companies to new heights. At InterBev 2010 last month, Beverage Industry presented its 2010 Executive of the Year Award to one such leader, Larry Young, Dr Pepper Snapple Group’s president and chief executive officer.
The criteria for the executive of the year award include: marketing achievements, technological innovations, community service, environmental contributions, employer/employee relations, financial performance and leadership qualities. With these accomplishments, Young stands in the company of all of the best leaders this industry has.
In this month’s cover story, the magazine profiles Young and the success DPS has attained since its debut as a standalone company. In terms of financial success, with Young as its leader last year the company yielded more than $5.5 billion in net beverage sales. In addition, his good customer and personal relationships with both the Coca-Cola and Pepsi systems aided DPS in the licensing of certain brands to PepsiCo and The Coca-Cola Co.
In regard to his marketing achievements, Young has been a scrupulous steward of DPS’s brands. In addition to big marketing pushes for the brands, Young has driven the innovation pipeline for the company. Innovations from Dr Pepper, Snapple and Mott’s were followed with a refresh for 7UP last month. The brand was reformulated with a more “crisp, clean, 100 percent natural lemon lime flavor” along with a packaging update. This is a prime example of how Young has placed an emphasis on giving consumers what they are looking for where they want it.
Young also has helped make DPS a fast-paced beverage company. This year, the company opened its new western distribution hub and production facility in Victorville, Calif. This is more than just a new 850,000-square-foot facility, but the culmination of a five-year project dedicated to supply chain efficiencies across its entire system. DPS developed a system of hubs and spokes that includes five regional hubs and 21 production facilities in order to produce the largest volume products closest to its customers.
In terms of Young’s corporate, social and environmental responsibility accomplishments, in August, DPS announced the launch of a new corporate philanthropy program called Action Nation. The program’s charitable giving and volunteer efforts support DPS’s mission to foster physically active, engaged and sustainable communities. In addition, this year the company published its first corporate social responsibility report and released five-year goals for improved environmental and social performance across the company’s operations.
These reasons and many more are why Beverage Industry and its advisory panel chose Larry Young as its 2010 Executive of the Year. For those of you who attended the award presentation at InterBev last month, thank you. I was very honored to be there with all of you, and I know many of you are exemplary leaders in your own right. BI