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ATLANTA -- The Coca-Cola Co. announced a new operating structure based on three major operating business, along with senior leaders for those businesses. Coca-Cola International will consist of the company's Europe, Pacific and Eurasia and Africa operations; Coca-Cola Americas will consist of its North America and Latin America operations; and Bottling Investments Group (BIG) will oversee Coca-Cola-owned bottling operations outside of North America.
Ahmet Bozer, president of the Eurasia and Africa Group, will be appointed president of Coca-Cola International; Steve Cahillane, president and CEO of Coca-Cola Refreshments (CCR), will be appointed President of Coca-Cola Americas; and Irial Finan will continue to serve as president of BIG. All three executives will continue to report to Muhtar Kent, chairman and CEO, stated the company.
"This is the right structure for the next phase of our journey toward achieving our 2020 Vision," said Kent. "Over the last couple of years, we have systematically been adapting our business model to better address the changing demands of the global marketplace. First, we addressed the issues facing our system in our flagship market through the acquisition of [Coca-Cola Enterprises] North America. Second, we further built the relevance of BIG, evolving it from its initial role of fixing challenging markets to a more significant role in spearheading our progress in select strategic markets such as China and India." Kent added that the company has a solid foundation and momentum in its business. "Now is the time to take the next step in our evolution," he added. "By consolidating leadership of our global operations under two large, but similar 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."
The executive appointments take effect Jan. 1, 2013. Related organizational changes will be announced in due course. Until such time, all current organizational and reporting relationships will remain as is, according to the announcement.
"Ahmet, Steve and Irial are proven leaders with extensive international franchise, bottling operations and marketing experience," said Kent. "Ahmet is a strong international operator who has demonstrated success in leading our business in both emerging and developing markets. Steve has played a key role in leading our North America operations and ensuring a smooth and successful integration of CCE. Irial led the creation of BIG, and has been instrumental in driving executional excellence throughout our Company-owned bottling operations across four continents. " Bozer joined the company in 1990 as a financial control manager. He moved to Turkey as region finance manager in 1992, and joined the Coca-Cola Bottlers of Turkey (now Coca-Cola Icecek A.S.) as finance director in 1994 before being named managing director in 1998.
In 2000, Bozer rejoined the Company as President of the Eurasia Division, which became Eurasia and Middle East Division in 2003, and assumed the additional leadership responsibility for the Russia, Ukraine and Belarus Division in 2006. In 2007, with the addition of the India and South West Asia Division under his responsibilities, he was named President of the Eurasia Group, according to the announcement. Bozer was promoted to lead the Eurasia & Africa Group in 2008.
Cahillane has more than 20 years of international beverage sales, marketing and distribution experience, said Coca-Cola. He joined the company as president and CEO of CCR in 2010. He has also served as president of Coca-Cola Enterprises' (CCE) North American business, and joined CCE in 2007 as president of CCE's Europe Group.
Before joining CCE, Cahillane served as chief executive for Interbrew UK and Ireland, a division of InBev S.A., and as chief commercial officer of InBev S.A. He founded Chicago's State Street Brewing Co. in 1995 and sold the business to join Coors Distribution Company as vice president and general manager in 1997. He joined InBev in 1999, serving as vice president of U.S. sales until 2001, when he was promoted to chief executive officer of Labatt USA, according to the announcement.
Finan has more than 30 years of experience in the Coca-Cola system and served as CEO of Coca-Cola Hellenic from 2001 to 2003, where he managed the merger integration of Coca-Cola Beverages plc and Hellenic Bottling SA, and led the combined company's operations in 26 countries. He joined The Coca-Cola Co. in 2004 as president, bottling investments and was named executive vice president of the company in October 2004.
"I look forward to partnering with Ahmet, Steve, Irial and the rest of my leadership team as we continue on our journey toward our 2020 Vision," Kent concluded.