Coca-Cola Company (KO) Reveals Leadership Changes

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The Coca-Cola Company (NYSE:KO) announced the reorganization and leadership changes to Coca Cola Americas as part of its continued effort to accelerate growth, streamline its focus and expedite refranchising to independent bottling partners.

According to the beverage giant, it will divide its integrated North America business into two operating units, Coca-Cola North America and Coca-Cola Refreshment effective January 1, 2014. The business segments represent a traditional company and bottler-operating model.

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Coca-Cola’s CEO on reorganization

Muhtar Kent, chairman and CEO of Coca-Cola Company (NYSE:KO) said, “We organized the business to intensify focus on key markets, streamline reporting lines, and provide flexibility to adjust the business within these geographies in the future.”

The Coca-Cola Company (NYSE:KO) also revealed that Steve Cahillane, president of Coca-Cola Americas resigned from his position to pursue other opportunities. Cahillane was once considered a candidate for CEO.

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According to the company, J.A.M. ‘Sandy’ Douglas will serve as group president of Coca-Cola North America (CCNA), and will continue his role as global chief customer officer. He will report to Kent.

Coca-Cola Refreshments new President

Paul Mulligan will serve as president of Coca-Cola Refreshments (CCR), the bottling operations of North America and will become part of Bottling Investments Group (BIG). Mulligan will report to Irial Finan, president of BIG.

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The Coca-Cola Company (NYSE:KO) dissolved the operating structure of Coca-Cola Americas, and the Latin America Group headed by Brian Smith will become part of Coca-Cola International. Smith will report to Ahmet Bozer, president of Coca-Cola International.

In addition, the beverage giant said the North America Enabling Functions will continue to support both CCNA and CCR.

Muhtar Kent expresses his gratitude

According to Kent, “Sandy and Paul are proven leaders with extensive System experience, and they will make a great team.” He also expressed gratitude to Cahillane for his many contributions to the business of The Coca-Cola Company (NYSE:KO) in North America.

“Under Steve’s leadership, our North America business delivered several consecutive quarters of volume and value share gains, despite operating in a very difficult economic environment the past three years.  We wish him well,” said Kent.

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