Daren has spent his entire career working alongside his father Dean and brother Evan, acquiring, transforming and enhancing the value of iconic American companies, brands and assets. Through this experience, he has developed a particular expertise in developing and executing innovative sales and marketing strategies designed to connect brands with contemporary audiences and regain relevance, both in the marketplace and pop culture.
From 2010 to 2014, Daren served as co-CEO of Pabst Brewing Company, which, in addition to the flagship Pabst (PBR) brand, owned several other national and regional beer brands. Under his leadership, the company initiated numerous creative and effective sales, marketing and distribution strategies that reshaped perceptions, enhanced brand equity and propelled growth. This included pioneering programs that tapped into the brands’ nostalgic appeal – employing grassroots efforts that empowered consumers to help shape the evolution and voice of the brand and preserve authenticity. The unique approach was a sharp contrast to the big ticket, mass market tactics favored by most major beer labels. Daren also oversaw an extensive organizational and operational restructuring, including the formation of an outstanding management team and the reopening of company headquarters in Los Angeles. In 2014, Metropoulos & Co. sold Pabst Brewing Company to another investor group for more than $700 million.
As a co-owner of Hostess Brands, which the firm acquired in 2013, Daren helped to shape the comeback of renowned American snack cakes including Twinkies and CupCakes – an event that generated one of the biggest news stories of 2013 and created the foundation for a remarkably swift resurgence of the company. Over the past three years, Hostess has grown to a billion dollar business and been described as a “Harvard Business School case study on how to turn around a business.”
Earlier in his career, Daren played an important role in the restructuring of the food conglomerate Pinnacle Foods, implementing marketing programs, including a major campaign with the National Football League, and sales strategies that reenergized several American brands, including Hungry Man, Duncan Hines, Vlasic and Aunt Jemima, among many others.
Before that, he oversaw the dramatic transformation of the Castle on the Hudson, the 19th-century Norman-style castle overlooking the Hudson River in Westchester County, New York. Establishing a new, world-class destination resort, he spearheaded its restoration, opened a five-star restaurant, added a range of high-end amenity offerings and positioned the historic property as a premier space for weddings and corporate events.
Daren’s keen interest in preserving and enhancing the value of iconic assets also extends to his personal ventures, which include notable real estate investments involving prominent properties in New York, California and Hawaii. In 2009, he purchased as his personal residence the sister house to the Playboy Mansion, the Holmby Hills estate that since 1927 has stood as the crown jewel in the exclusive community steeped in Hollywood history. With an interest in history and architecture, he has since embarked on a significant restoration, making substantial improvements to the property’s formal gardens and expansive grounds, which are adjacent to the Los Angeles Country Club.
In August 2016, he purchased the Playboy Mansion itself, with the future intention of reconnecting the two estates – returning the combined 7.3 acre compound to the original vision executed by noted architect Arthur R. Kelly and its first owner, Arthur Letts, Jr., the department store heir whose father conceived and developed Holmby Hills when it was the Wolfskill Ranch.
He looks forward to the opportunity to bring his passion and attention to detail to ultimately restore the grandeur of a historic property that has been recognized for its craftsmanship, architectural splendor and magnificent detail. As he told The Wall Street Journal when the deal was announced: “The heritage of this property transcends its celebrity, and to have the opportunity to serve as its steward would be a true privilege.”
Daren attended Babson College and the University of Connecticut.