Coca-Cola Announces New Operating Structure, Sr. Leadership

Published in CSP Daily News

Organizing around three major operating businesses: international, Americas, bottling

Steve Cahillane

ATLANTA -- The Coca-Cola Co. has announced a new operating structure and the senior leaders for those businesses. Effective Jan. 1, 2013, the company will organize around three major operating businesses: Coca-Cola International, which will consist of the company's Europe, Pacific and Eurasia & Africa operations; Coca-Cola Americas, which will consist of the company's North America and Latin America operations, and; Bottling Investments Group (BIG), which oversees the company-owned bottling operations outside of North America.

Ahmet Bozer, president of the Eurasia & Africa Group, will be appointed president of Coca-Cola International. Steve Cahillane, president and CEO of Coca-Cola Refreshments (CCR), will be appointed president of Coca-Cola Americas. Irial Finan will continue as president of BIG. All three executives will continue to report to Muhtar Kent, chairman and CEO.

"This is the right structure for the next phase of our journey toward achieving our 2020 Vision," said Kent.

"Over the last couple of years, we have systematically been adapting our business model to better address the changing demands of the global marketplace. First, we addressed the issues facing our system in our flagship market through the acquisition of CCE North America. Second, we further built the relevance of BIG, evolving it from its initial role of fixing challenging markets to a more significant role in spearheading our progress in select strategic markets such as China and India.

"We have a solid foundation and momentum in our business. Now is the time to take the next step in our evolution. By consolidating leadership of our global operations under two large, but similar sized geographic regions and BIG, we will streamline reporting lines, intensify our focus on key markets and create a structure that leverages synergies and gives us flexibility to strategically adjust our business within those geographies in the future."

Added Kent: "Ahmet, Steve and Irial are proven leaders with extensive international franchise, bottling operations and marketing experience. Ahmet is a strong international operator who has demonstrated success in leading our business in both emerging and developing markets. Steve has played a key role in leading our North America operations and ensuring a smooth and successful integration of CCE. Irial led the creation of BIG, and has been instrumental in driving executional excellence throughout our Company-owned bottling operations across four continents."

Related organizational changes will be announced in due course. Until such time, all current organizational and reporting relationships will remain as is.

Cahillane, 47, has more than 20 years of successful international beverage sales, marketing and distribution experience. He joined Coca-Cola as president and CEO of CCR in 2010. Prior to leading CCR, Cahillane was president of Coca-Cola Enterprises' (CCE) North American business. He joined CCE in 2007 as president of CCE's Europe Group.

Prior to joining CCE, Cahillane served as the CEO for Interbrew UK and Ireland, a division of InBev SA, and as chief commercial officer of InBev SA. In 1995, Cahillane founded State Street Brewing Co. in Chicago, which he owned until 1997, when he sold the business and joined Coors Distribution Co. as vice president and general manager. He joined InBev in 1999, serving as vice president of U.S. sales until 2001, when he was promoted to CEO of Labatt USA.

Atlanta-based Coca-Cola is the world's largest beverage company. Led by Coca-Cola, the world's most valuable brand, its portfolio features 15 billion-dollar brands including Diet Coke, Fanta, Sprite, Coca-Cola Zero, vitaminwater, Powerade, Minute Maid, Simply, Georgia and Del Valle. Globally, it is a leading provider of sparkling beverages, ready-to-drink coffees and juices and juice drinks.