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Coca-Cola Streamlining Operating Structure

Mon, 07/30/2012 - 12:51pm

ATLANTA (AP) — The Coca-Cola Co. is streamlining its operating structure as it expands around the world.

Starting next year, the world's largest beverage company says its business will be built around three units: Coca-Cola Americas, Coca-Cola International and a bottling division, which will oversee the company's bottling operations outside North America.

Currently, the heads of various regions such as Latin America, Asia and Europe report directly to CEO Muhtar Kent. The new structure will reduce the number of operational leaders who report to Kent by about half.

The Atlanta-based company said Monday that Steve Cahillane, 47, who currently heads Coca-Cola Refreshments in North America, will head the new Coca-Cola Americas unit, which will include Latin America.

Ahmet Bozer, 52, who heads the region encompassing Europe, Africa and the Middle East, will head the new Coca-Cola International unit. Irial Finan, 55, will continue as president of the bottling unit, Bottling Investments Group.

The new structure takes effect Jan. 1 and splits global operations about evenly. Roughly half of Coca-Cola's sales volume comes from the Americas, while the rest comes from overseas.

Coca-Cola shares rose 69 cents to $80.70 in morning trading after rising to a 52-week high of $80.79 earlier in the session.

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