USA – Keurig Dr Pepper, a leading beverage company in North America has appointed Mauricio Leyva to the newly-created role of President, International and Business Development.

Leyva will be responsible for leading KDP’s Canadian and Mexican business units and the Company’s external growth initiatives, including strategic partnerships and mergers and acquisitions across all geographies.

Leyva brings more than 25 years of broad business experience, most recently having served as a Senior Adviser at JAB Holding, supporting the group’s global beverage and coffee team.

Prior to JAB, Leyva was the Chief Executive Officer of Grupo Lala, a Mexican dairy company, with plants and distribution centers in Mexico, Brazil, the United States and Central America.

He has also held senior executive roles at AB InBev, serving as President of the Middle Americas Zone and CEO of Grupo Modelo, and at SABMiller, including serving as Chairman and Managing Director of its flagship South African market.

Leyva holds a postgraduate diploma in International Management from Université de Nancy, France, and a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Universidad de Los Andes, Colombia.

In his new role at Keurig Dr Pepper, Leyva will report to Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Bob Gamgort and will also join the company’s Executive Leadership Team.

Commenting on the announcement, Gamgort said; “We are pleased to welcome Mauricio to the Keurig Dr Pepper leadership team.

“His extensive experience in the global beverage business will be a valuable addition to the Company, as we continue to strengthen and optimize our existing international presence.

“Mauricio’s proven leadership and relevant experience will support the delivery of Keurig Dr Pepper’s bold vision and ambitious financial targets.”

The appointment comes at a time when the company is pursuing several investments as part of its plan to drive accelerated top-line growth over the next three years. Keurig Dr Pepper’s net sales for the full year of 2019 increased 49% to US$11.12 billion.

The company said that the results were significantly impacted by the July 9, 2018 merger between Keurig Green Mountain and Dr Pepper Snapple Group, Inc. that lead to the creation of today’s Keurig Dr Pepper.

“As we look toward 2020, we are increasing our investment behind growth drivers, leading to our expectation that revenue will accelerate above our merger targets, while still delivering double-digit EPS growth,” Gamgort said in a statement while releasing the 2019 results in February this year.

“We continue to expect that we will generate our merger target synergies of US$600 million and three-year EPS growth within our target range of 15% to 17%.”

In 2019, the beverage firm achieved merger synergies in excess of its US$200 million target.