Alm Departs CCE

Kline named interim CEO

Published in CSP Daily News

ATLANTA -- Coca-Cola Enterprises said that president and CEO John R. Alm is leaving the company effective Jan. 1, 2006.

The board has initiated the search process for the selection of his successor. Chairman Lowry F. Kline will serve as interim CEO until the selection process is completed, with Alm providing advice and counsel to him throughout the transition for a period up to six months.

John has been an integral part of the Coca-Cola bottling system for more than two decades, and both Coca-Cola Enterprises and the Coca-Cola [image-nocss] system have benefited from his leadership and insight, said Kline. John's passion for our business, our people and our customers, and his entrepreneurial spirit have created lasting contributions to our company's culture and operations.

I am fully committed to working with Lowry to ensure an effective transition, and this decision reflects the company's confidence in our strong management team, especially the abilities of Terry Marks and Shaun Higgins, two of the industry's most respected operators, Alm said. Under their leadership, we are continuing to strengthen our business in North America and Western Europe, working closely with The Coca-Cola Co. to meet the changing needs of our customers and consumers in these dynamic markets. Marks was named president of the North American Business Unit in January 2005, and Higgins became president of the European Group in April 2005.

It has been a privilege to help lead Coca-Cola Enterprises and its people through a remarkable period of domestic and international expansion and growth. I look forward to evaluating the opportunities that have been presented to me to serve on other companies' boards of directors, as well as joining a private equity firm as a partner or in an advisory role, Alm said. I will also expand my private philanthropic efforts to help disadvantaged youth.

Alm, 59, began his career in the beverage industry in 1980 when he joined the Johnston Coca-Cola Bottling Group as senior vice president and CFO. In 1991, the Johnston Coca-Cola Bottling Group merged with Coca-Cola Enterprises and Alm was named vice president and CFO. In 2000, Alm was named president and COO and became CEO in January 2004.

Prior to being elected chairman in April 2002, Kline, 65, served as CEO. In April 2000, he was elected a member of the company's board and its vice chairman after serving as executive vice president and chief administrative officer.

Coca-Cola Enterprises Inc. is the world's largest marketer, distributor and producer of bottle and can liquid nonalcoholic refreshment. Coca-Cola Enterprises sells approximately 80% of The Coca-Cola Co.'s bottle and can volume in North America and is the sole licensed bottler for products of The Coca-Cola Co. in Belgium, France, Great Britain, Luxembourg, Monaco, and the Netherlands.