Coca-Cola rejigs top team as part of a sweeping global restructuring exercise

New Delhi: Beverage maker Coca-Cola has announced a series of senior-level changes across most of its key functions as part of a sweeping global restructuring exercise it kicked off last month.

The company’s marketing head Vijay Parasuraman is moving to a global role within the company, and will be succeeded by Arnab Roy, currently director, sparkling brands in Atlanta.

The maker of Coke and Thums Up cola and Sprite lemon drink has named a new head of India franchise operations Sundeep Bijoria, while Reetima Rakyan will lead franchise operations for South West Asia.

It has also named new heads for strategy (Samarapperuma Padmal), finance (Harsh Bhutani) and human resources (Nishi Kulshreshtha Chaturvedi).

The Atlanta-based beverage maker has notified the changes on its website.

All the officials will report to Sanket Ray, the beverage maker’s new India head who will take over from January 1, 2021. Current president T. Krishnakumar has been named chairman of the company.

The restructuring is part of a global exercise being undertaken by the world’s largest beverages maker, which also includes replacing 17 existing business units with nine larger operating units. As reported by ET last week, Coca-Cola is undertaking a voluntary separation programme for its 200-plus employees, “aimed at eliminating duplication of resources and enhancing the company’s ability to scale new products more quickly,” the company said in a statement. “The reductions in employees will be voluntary and would result in reallocation of roles,” the company said. The overall global severance programmes are expected to incur costs ranging between $350 million to $550 million.

While in-consumption of foods and beverages during the peak lockdown months surged as consumers stayed indoors and pantry stocked, the nationwide lockdown starting March-end impacted out-of-home sales of soft drinks significantly. The April-June quarter accounts for over half of the soft-drink industry’s annual sales of over Rs 20,000 crore, with out-of-home consumption contributing over three-fourths of its sales.


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