June 11/Business Wire -- Purple Beverage Company Inc. announced that former Fuze Beverage LLC executive Michael McKee has agreed to join the growing beverage company as vice president of Operations and Logistics.

As director of Procurement and Inventory Planning for Fuze Beverage, LLC, McKee strengthened the brand by developing and implementing continuous improvement strategies, including maximizing manufacturing, planning, packaging and asset utilization. By translating long-range marketing and sales plans into manufacturing direction and strategy support, McKee helped the start-up beverage company experience nearly 300% growth during his time with the company, which was purchased by the Coca-Cola Company in 2007.

"Joining Purple Beverage is an exciting opportunity and challenge for me," said McKee. "Coming from a strong background in the beverage industry with various brands, I look forward to working for Purple Beverage during this time of intense growth. I am excited to create and implement new plans that will not only strengthen the brand, but will also help place Purple on every store shelf in the country."

Prior to his position with Fuze Beverage LLC, McKee's career led him to serve as a business planner for Unilever and previously Cadbury Schweppes (formerly Snapple Beverage Group Inc.), where he worked with beverage brands that included Snapple, Mistic, Yoo-hoo and Orangina. At Purple Beverage Company, McKee will be in charge of handling contract manufacturing, production planning and purchasing, among other responsibilities.

"Michael's experience with Fuze and Snapple fits into Purple Beverage's business plan as we experience exponential growth," said Purple Beverage Company founder and CEO, Ted Farnsworth. "Logistics is the backbone of any company, and it is necessary to have top industry executives like Michael on our team to fortify Purple Beverage's operations as we continue to expand."

From the June 23, 2008, Prepared Foods e-Flash