EXCLUSIVE: I just heard that coffee guy Gerardo “Gerry” Lopez is replacing Peter Brown, who is retiring after joining AMC Theatres since 1990 and rising to Chairman/President/CEO of AMC Entertainment. (The film buyers are calling all the distributors with it this minute… But as one studio exec jus emailed me, “Retirement, in this case, is clearly a euphemism for, “Don’t let the door hit you on the way out.” Albeit, a lucrative exit door.”) For the caffeine-challenged among you, Lopez resigned on February 20th as Starbucks Corp’s EVP. He was also president of Global Consumer Products, Foodservice and Seattle’s Best Coffee. Interestingly, the Starbucks announcement said the 48-year-old was leaving after four years with the coffee company for “personal reasons” — not to go to another gig. But there does seem to be synergistic experience between AMC Theatres and Starbucks: both are aging and troubled businesses faced with a ton of competition. Lopez is credited with leading global strategy to support Starbucks’ growth and expansion of its consumer products worldwide. Before joining the coffee company, Lopez was vice president of sales for Nestlé USA.
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