Keurig Dr Pepper appoints Dr. Karin Rotem-Wildeman as Chief R&D officer

US – Keurig Dr Pepper (KDP) has appointed Dr. Karin Rotem-Wildeman as chief research & development officer, effective 9 January 2023.

Reporting to chief executive Bob Gamgort, Rotem-Wildeman will lead product development, packaging innovation, flavor technology and associated R&D capabilities.

She succeeds David Thomas, who is retiring from KDP after 16 years with the company.

Rotem-Wildeman joins KDP with 25 years of leadership experience driving product innovation and commercialization for leading global food and beverage companies as well as industry-disruptive start-ups.

She was most recently Chief Scientific Officer at the LIVEKINDLY Collective, a plant-based start-up with a portfolio of established brands as well as innovative new products.

Before that role, Rotem-Wildeman was the Global Head of R&D at GODIVA Chocolatier.

Before joining GODIVA, she had spent 18 years with PepsiCo in global R&D leadership roles across beverages and food, with her last as Senior Vice President, Beverage Regional R&D.

During her time at the company, she led innovation into emerging white spaces as well as renovation in core categories and oversaw work in process development, strategy and portfolio management, and venture capital investment.

Rotem-Wildeman began her career in research engineering in the food service division of Nestlé.

Commenting on the announcement, Bob Gamgort said: “Karin is an accomplished R&D leader and CPG executive with a proven track record in concept-to-shelf innovation across multiple product categories.

“I look forward to working with her as we continue to deliver against our vision to meet every beverage need.

Earlier last month, the company announced that its then CEO Ozan Dokmecioglu agreed to resign after violating the company’s code of conduct, less than four months into the job.

The beverage giant said the violations were not related to the company’s strategy, operations, or financial reporting.

As a result, Keurig Dr Pepper’s board reappointed Bob Gamgort, chairman and former CEO, as chief executive.

Gamgort ceded the role to Dokmecioglu on July 29 as part of a previously announced succession plan.

When the change was announced in April, the company said it looked at internal and external candidates for the role.

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