It's Official: Mary Minnick's Leaving Coke

by , Jan 19, 2007, 5:00 AM
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Mary Minnick, who tried to shake things up at Coca-Cola by proposing innovative beverages, is leaving the soda giant in March and will move to Europe to pursue personal and professional goals.

Minnick, Coca-Cola Co.'s executive vice president, and president of marketing, strategy and innovation, was expected to depart after she was passed over in December when Muhtar Kent was named company president/chief operating officer.

Gerry Khermouch, executive editor of "Beverage Business Insights," said Minnick's departure seemed even more likely after Kent's first public appearance in his new role. Kent announced the company was ready to buy other brands.

"We took that as an indirect repudiation of Mary's work," said Khermouch. "He was kind of saying, 'look, there haven't been that many successes. Let's get realistic and go out and find brands that are connecting with consumers.'

"There's something about large companies that, no matter what you try to do, they're not going to have that kind of [innovative] agility," Khermouch said. "It's more feasible for them to go out and buy those brands."

As for Minnick, Khermouch doesn't think she would end up with another beverage company. After all, he said, "Where do you go after Coke?"

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