Coca-Cola creates new US division, promotes marketing leaders

Coca Cola RattiSteve’s breakdown: With all this shack-up, you’ve got to think there’s a master plan. If you’ve got folks on the inside, now’s the time to reconnect and find out what’s happening. But first, read the article below.


  • Coca-Cola is moving forward with another handful of management changes, now naming Hendrik Steckhan as president of USA Operations, a new division that will manage all U.S. carbonated and non-carbonated beverages, including brand strategy, marketing, and integrated content in addition to retail sales and franchise leadership.
  • The new division was created as a way to handle the exit of Wendy Clark, former president of sparkling brands and strategic marketing in North America, announced last month, instead of simply filling her role with someone else.
  • Coca-Cola is also promoting two other employees: Stuart Kronauge, current senior vice president of customer marketing, to lead brand marketing for the Coca-Cola trademark, Sprite, Glaceau, water, tea, and coffee; and Ivan Pollard, current senior vice president of connections, investments, and assets, to lead strategic marketing, including content, connections, investments, assets, and portfolio strategy and innovations.


“These changes capitalize on [Coca-Cola North America’s] leadership talent and better align our structure to our strategy and lines of business, facilitating improved execution going forward,” Sandy Douglas, president of Coca-Cola North America, said in a memo. “These changes also reflect our continued focus on developing our people and accelerating execution and business momentum.”

Earlier this week, Coca-Cola announced the retirement of its chief administrative officer, but the company has also welcomed a new president and COOchief technology officerchief procurement officerchief technical and innovation officer, and chief marketing officer over the past year.

Coca-Cola has faced a decline in the soda industry, which the company has aimed to answer with innovation, particularly in packaging, namely the mini-cans of soda that reduce volume per sale but are more profitable.

Describing innovation in an interview with Forbes, former chief technical and innovation officer Guy Wollaert said, “It can be an invention or a piece of technology. It can be a new operating model, a new business model – many, many different things. But it does not become true innovation unless it creates new value and it has impact.”

Recommended Reading

Ad Age: Coke Shuffles Management in Wake of Wendy Clark Exit
The Wall Street Journal: Coca-Cola Names Hendrik Steckhan President of U.S. Operations
Forbes: For Coca-Cola’s Guy Wollaert, Innovation Means ‘Permission To Experiment’


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