James Quincey (left) will replace Muhtar Kent as Coca-Cola's CEO in May.
The new CEO of Coca-Cola, James Quincey, has shaken up the drinks giant’s senior leadership team with a handful of changes – including the creation of a chief growth officer.
The new position will report directly to Quincey, who takes over as CEO on 1 May, and will combine Coca-Cola’s global marketing, customer and commercial leadership, and strategy functions into a single role. It will be aimed at driving growth across five strategic beverage categories: carbonates; juice, dairy and plant-based drinks; tea and coffee; water and enhanced waters; and energy drinks.
The first chief growth officer will be Francisco Crespo, the current head of Coca-Cola’s Mexico business unit.
Alongside the new growth officer, Quincey will also work with a chief innovation officer, which elevates Coca-Cola’s existing research and development into a standalone function. The newly created role ‘represents the increased importance of innovation to the company’s growth plans’, Coca-Cola said.
Robert Long, currently vice-president of research and development, will take up the position.
Crespo (left), Simpson (centre) and Long will all take up new or elevated positions in Quincey’s senior team.
Coca-Cola has also announced that the company’s information technology function will report directly to Quincey, reflecting ‘the importance of digitisation as a growth enabler for the company’s business’. Barry Simpson, senior vice-president and chief information officer, will remain in this role.
“Today’s organisational announcement is another building block in our company’s transformational journey,” Quincey said. “We are moving quickly to structure our organisation for faster growth and to ensure we can respond to the fast-changing needs of our consumers, customers, system and associates around the world. Each of the leaders named today is highly capable and understands our clear mandate for change, and I look forward to partnering with them as we transform our business for the future.”
The changes support work already under way to create a leaner, more agile corporate organisation that is focused on strategy, governance and vital strategic initiatives, such as innovation and portfolio growth through leading brands and categories.
They will help drive Coca-Cola’s ongoing transformation into a fully rounded, growth-oriented and consumer-centric beverage company.
They also follow changes made by Quincey to the company’s international operations leadership team last year.
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