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Coca-Cola shakes up top leadership team

Brian-SmithGlobal beverage giant Coca-Cola has announced key changes to its top leadership team including the election of a new president and chief operating officer as well as a new chief financial officer.

Brian Smith has been elected to serve as president and COO from January 1, after 21 years with the soft drinks company. Smith currently serves as president of the company’s Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) group. The company said in a statement that Smith is well-equipped to lead field operations and bring an “accelerated focus” on executing key strategies. He will report to CEO James Quincey.

“I have tremendous respect for Brian, who is a valued business partner,” Quincey said. “He is the ideal person to steer the in-market executional leadership of the company, which will allow me to focus on the strategic direction of Coca-Cola as we continue to evolve as a total beverage company.”

John Murphy, president of the company’s Asia Pacific group, will move into the senior vice president and deputy CFO role on January 1 and will be elevated to executive vice president and CFO on March 16, 2019, following the retirement of Kathy Waller after 32 years at the soft drinks giant.

Waller, who took on the CFO role in 2014, has been “instrumental in transforming, modernizing and simplifying the Coca-Cola finance function”. As founding chair of the company’s Women’s Leadership Council, she supported the creation and execution of the Women in Leadership Global Program.

Murphy has worked in the Coca-Cola system since 1988 and has served in a number of senior finance, strategy and operations roles around the world. He is a well-respected leader with financial and operating expertise with strong relationships in the company’s finance division.

As CFO Murphy will be responsible for leading the company’s global finance organization, including mergers and acquisitions; investor relations; tax; treasury; audit; accounting and controls; financial reporting; real estate; and risk management.

“I join everyone at Coca-Cola in thanking Kathy for her many years of exemplary service to the company,” Quincey said. “She leaves a great legacy as a leader, including as a mentor who created a strong organization and put the building blocks in place to continue to transform and modernize our finance function. John will be a great fit as our new CFO, thanks to his broad experience in both finance and as an operational leader.”

The beverage company also announced Nancy Quan will take up the role of senior vice president and appointed Chief Technical Officer from January 1. She currently serves as a vice president and Chief Technical Officer for Coca-Cola North America.

She succeeds Ed Hays, who plans to retire from the company on March 31, 2019. Hays will transition to a role as senior advisor on January 1, reporting to Quincey also.

Coca-Cola Australia’s caffeine kick 

The beverage giant remains busy innovating and adding new products with its latest concoction designed for adults to enjoy a caffeine kick after dark.

Coca-Cola Australia has created Coca-Cola ‘Batch Blends’, which can be enjoyed on their own or used as a mixer for drinks or cocktails.

coca-cola batch blends

The limited edition product comes in two flavors in 500ml or 1.25-litre cans with one combining coffee and chocolate together with Coca-Cola and the other a mix of caramel and Coca-Cola.

Coca-Cola Australia’s marketing director Luce Austin said that ‘Batch Blends’ has been crafted for adventurous drinkers and curious minds. Australians can now “explore sophisticated tastes” when out with friends.

The new drinks will be available in select bars, restaurants and hotels in Australia.


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