"Richard has an incredible pedigree in the consumer brand space, having served key leadership roles with major brands including Maxwell House Coffee, Kraft Foods and General Foods among many others," said William Meissner, CEO of Jones Soda. "His deep understanding and experience in our industry sector brings a very strong addition to the Board. All of us at Jones Soda are very excited to have him as we look to continue building the strength of our team."
Cautero's most notable experience in the food and beverage space comes from his nearly 30 years spent with Altria Group Inc. (formerly known as Philip Morris Companies), which previously counted Kraft Foods and General Foods among its prestigious brand portfolio. From 1977-2006, he held several key executive positions at Altria, most recently as vice president of finance for corporate planning and strategy. Prior to that, he served as chief financial and operating officer for Maxwell House, a division of Kraft Foods, as controller for Post Cereal, also a Kraft Foods brand, and held numerous other financial and operational leadership roles within Altria divisions.
During his time with Altria, Cautero developed an exceptional track record of improving operating performance. Notably, he is credited with developing and implementing a successful strategic global growth plan for Altria, as well as helping spearhead a successful turnaround for the multi-billion dollar Maxwell House division.
Currently Cautero is the managing director of Executive Advisory Services, which provides independent executive advisory, consulting and board services to a variety of organizations. In this capacity, Cautero has performed consulting and interim executive assignments in the consumer products, consumer distribution, manufacturing, and technology sectors since 2006.
"I've been watching Jones Soda for many years, as it's a very interesting consumer brand with some of the most loyal fans I've ever seen," commented Cautero. "I like what I am seeing in the current team's turnaround strategy. I look forward to bringing my turnaround and operational experience to the table as we seek to enhance the company's enterprise value to match the traditionally strong brand value."
From the December 19, 2011, Prepared Foods' Daily News.