Starting Jan. 1, Coca-Cola Company will implement a new operating structure organized around three units: Coca-Cola International, comprising European, Pacific and Eurasia and Africa operations; Coca-Cola Americas, comprising North American and Latin American operations; and Bottling Investments Group (BIG), which oversees company-owned bottling operations outside of North America.
Ahmet Bozer, currently president of the Eurasia & Africa Group, will become president of the international unit; Steve Cahillane, currently president and CEO of Coca-Cola Refreshments, will become president of Coca-Cola Americas; and Irial Finan will continue as president of BIG. All three will continue to report to chairman/CEO Muhtar Kent.
Currently, the company is divided into groups focused on Eurasia and Africa, Europe, Latin America, North America and the Pacific, plus units dedicated to North American and international bottling operations and one focused on major client McDonald's Corp.
Kent described the streamlined structure as “the right structure for the next phase” toward achieving Coca-Cola’s strategic “2020 Vision” plan, which calls for doubling revenue by that date.
“By consolidating leadership of our global operations under two large, but similarly-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," Kent said.
Beverage Digest editor John Sicher told Reuters that giving Cahillane and Bozer much bigger jobs is an early step by Kent “on the management succession road.” But he also stressed that unnamed sources have indicated that Kent intends to stay at the helm for many years.