Sightlines — Former Hennessey exec joins Boston Beer Company as new CMO

Michael Kiser

THE GIST
In a bold hiring move, Boston Beer Company has hired Jon Potter as its new Chief Marketing Officer. Potter is currently the managing director for Moet Hennessy’s Chandon California division and will join Boston Beer Co. in August for a reported annual salary of $475,000.

WHY IT MATTERS
This is big from Boston Beer, in the companies 32-year existence they have never had a dedicated CMO. According to a recent report from market research firm IRI Worldwide, Boston Beer’s volumes are down 4% year on year. This is far from a drastic decrease for such a large business, but it shows the need for them to take initiative and hiring Potter is a sure fire example of this.

Potter has spent the last three years ably marketing brands such as Hennessy, Belvedere and Veuve Clicquot so his skills could prove invaluable in taking Boston Beer and its family of brands forward. As well as its Sam Adams and Rebel beer lines, Potter will be developing the focus of Angry Orchard cider and the Twisted Tea line. 

Beer and cider is a very different world to Cognac and Champagne. Will Potter be able to get inside the head of the beer and cider market, and will his approach be any different than the host of other larger breweries who all seem to be making the same plays? If there's ever been a time for Boston Beer to show it can learn some new tricks, this is it. 

— Matthew Curtis