Effective Aug. 1, 2016, the Coca-Cola Co. will be implementing leadership changes and a new international operating structure.
In an effort to align its operating units against its global bottling footprint, The Coca-Cola Co. has plans to launch a new streamlined international structure. Additionally, the company is working to promote and develop key Coca-Cola leaders.
“Today’s announcement outlines important changes to our international operating structure that better support our evolving bottler footprint and demonstrate the deep bench of management experience we are fortunate to have in the Coca-Cola system,” said Muhtar Kent, chairman and CEO. “These moves will continue to lay the foundation for strong leadership and management continuity.”
“As we continue to implement our five strategic actions for growth, it is critical that our organizational structure enables the speed, agility and inspirational leadership that are necessary to win today and in the future. The changes we are announcing today streamline our international structure, and reflect strong talent succession and a commitment to developing the next generation of leaders at our company,” said president and chief operating officer James Quincey.
International operating structure and leadership changes, effective Aug. 1 (unless otherwise noted), include:
Europe, Middle East and Africa Group
The company will form a Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) Group, consisting of the business units that currently make up the Europe and the Eurasia and Africa Groups.
In Europe, the Central and Southern Europe and Russia, Ukraine and Belarus business units will be combined into a new business unit – Central and Eastern Europe – to better support the bottling footprint in that region.
In Africa, two business units will be reconfigured to more closely align operations with bottling operations on the continent, with the formation of a new South and East Africa business unit and a West Africa business unit.
Brian Smith, currently president of the company’s Latin America Group, will become president, EMEA Group, reporting to Quincey. Smith is a 19-year Coca-Cola veteran who has a proven track record of driving business results, developing and exporting talent and providing strong franchise leadership across Latin America, including past roles as division president of Brazil and business unit president for Mexico.
Smith’s leadership team will include:
- Dan Sayre, who will continue as president, Western Europe
- Nikos Koumettis, who will expand his existing role to become president, Central and Eastern Europe
- Kelvin Balogun, currently president Central, East and West Africa (CEWA), who will become president, South and East Africa
- Zoran Vucinic, currently president, Russia, Ukraine and Belarus, who will become president, Middle East and North Africa
- Galya Molinas, who will continue in her role as president, Turkey, Caucasus and Central Asia
- Peter Njonjo, currently general manager of the East Africa Franchise in CEWA, who will become president of the new West Africa Business Unit
As the new EMEA Group is created, Nathan Kalumbu, currently president, Eurasia and Africa Group, will focus on key initiatives across the Africa business, including the Africa bottler consolidation, as well as serve on a number of boards, until he retires from the company effective Dec. 31, 2016.
Latin America Group
Alfredo Rivera, currently president of the Latin Center Business Unit, will become president, Latin America Group, reporting to Quincey. Rivera is a 19-year veteran of the Coca-Cola system who has held both company and bottler leadership positions throughout his career in Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador, Brazil and Ecuador. While president of the Latin Center Business Unit, his team has qualified for the company’s top internal business unit award, The Woodruff Cup, for the last three years, and was awarded the prestigious prize in 2014.
Rivera’s leadership team will include:
- Francisco Crespo, who will continue as president, Mexico
- Henrique Braun, currently president, Greater China and Korea, who will become president, Brazil, effective Sept. 1
- Therese Gearhart, currently president, Southern Africa, who will succeed Rivera as president, Latin Center
- Joao Marcelo Ramires, currently vice president – Franchise Operations, Brazil, who will become president, South Latin
- Xiemar Zarazua, currently president, Brazil, who will become vice president, Strategic Ventures for Latin America, effective Sept. 1
Asia Pacific Group
John Murphy, currently president of the South Latin Business Unit, will become president, Asia Pacific Group, reporting to Quincey. Murphy has held senior company and bottling roles in a number of markets during his 28-year career, including Japan, Singapore, Indonesia and North America, in addition to roles in Latin America.
Murphy’s leadership team will include:
- Curt Ferguson, currently president, Middle East and North Africa, who will become president, Greater China and Korea effective Sept. 1
- Iain McLaughlin, who will continue as president, ASEAN
- Tim Brett, who will continue as president, Japan
- Roberto Mercade, who will continue as president, South Pacific
- Venkatesh Kini, who will continue as president, India and Southwest Asia
Atul Singh, currently president of the Asia Pacific Group, will transition to the role of chairman, Asia Pacific Group. Singh will continue to focus on managing a number of key stakeholders, government relations, key merger and acquisition initiatives, as well as continuing to serve on a number of boards, until March 2017 when he will retire from the company.
The company’s Bottling Investments and North America groups are not impacted by today’s announcements.