Brian Smith new president of Coca-Cola

Posted October 19, 2018 2:11 p.m. EDT

ATLANTA -- The board of directors of the Coca-Cola company this week announced key top leadership changes, including the appointment of Brian Smith as the company's next president.

In addition to president, Smith, currently head of the company's Europe, Middle East and Africa group, will also take on the role of chief operating officer. He will assume his new role Jan. 1 and will report to James Quincey, Coca-Cola's current president and chief executive officer. Quincey will retain the title of CEO, a position he's held since May 2017.

Smith's appointment will allow Quincey to concentrate on strategy and broader company goals.

The company in the last year has embarked on a marketing effort to attract new customers through re-branding of its existing products, introducing new flavors and packaging, investing in the sports drink market and expanding to the hot beverage market through an agreement to acquire U.K.-based Costa coffee.

"He is the ideal person to steer the in-market executional leadership of the company, which will allow me to focus on the strategic direction of Coca-Cola as we continue to evolve as a total beverage company," said Quincey of Smith's appointment.

The company on Thursday also announced the upcoming retirement of Kathy Waller, the chief financial officer, next March. Waller, who has been CFO since 2014, will be replaced by John Murphy, who currently serves as president of Coca-Cola's Asia Pacific group. Murphy will serve as deputy CFO until Waller's retirement.

Nancy Quan, who currently serves as the chief technical officer for Coca-Cola North America, has been appointed chief technical officer. She will succeed Ed Hays, who will serve as the company's senior advisor effective next March.

The board also assigned new duties to Barry Simpson, the company's chief information officer, to include oversight of portions of the company's Enabling services organization.

Story Filed By Cox Newspapers

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