Molson Coors Brewing Co., Denver, announced that Simon Cox will become the chief executive officer of Molson Coors Europe, effective Jan. 1, 2015. Cox will succeed Mark Hunter, who will become president and chief executive officer of Molson Coors Brewing Co. when the current leader, Peter Swinburn, retires at the end of the year. Currently, Cox is the managing director of the United Kingdom and Ireland for Molson Coors.

“I am extremely proud to be selected to lead Molson Coors Europe,” said Cox in a statement. “This is an exciting business, which has been growing on the strength of great brands and brilliant execution in the marketplace since the acquisition of the Central European operation. We have a talented team of people who are second to none when it comes to competing and winning, even in tough economic and market conditions, and I look forward to building on that success.”

Cox joined Molson Coors in 2005 as director of supply chain strategy, based in Burton-on-Trent, England, and developed increasing responsibility through senior positions as strategy director, then managing director of independent on-premise, before taking over the United Kingdom and Ireland business in 2012. He also is a master brewer by training.

“We are fortunate to have someone with such broad experience in the industry and such extensive knowledge of our business to lead our European organization,” said Swinburn in a statement. “With more than 25 years in the beer industry and more than nine [years] with Molson Coors, Simon has been directly engaged as a senior executive in building our expanded European business since the successful acquisition of StarBev two years ago.”

Hunter added in a statement: “Simon Cox brings exceptional operations expertise and strong, proven business leadership skills to the chief executive position. He is both a master brewer and a top-tier commercial leader. Under his leadership, the U.K. business has seen consistent strong performance improvement over the past two years, and his extensive international experience makes him especially well-suited for this pan-European role.”