Coca-Cola merges ASEAN and South Pacific biz due to global restructure

The Coca-Cola Company will be merging its ASEAN and South Pacific business units from 2021, as part of its global restructuring. The merged business unit will be led by Claudia Lorenzo, who is the current president of the ASEAN business unit. Lorenzo will report to president and chief operating officer, Brian Smith. 

The new business unit is one of Coca-Cola's nine new geographical business units, which replace its current 17 business units. The other business units are: North America, Latin America, Europe, Africa, Eurasia and Middle East, Japan and South Korea, Greater China, as well as India and Southwest Asia. Marketing has reached out to Coca-Cola for additional information.

The company has also named senior vice presidents of marketing for its Latin America, Europe, and North America business units. It has appointed Javier Meza, current CMO for sparkling beverages, for its Latin America unit; Walter Susini, current head of marketing for the Western Europe business unit, for Europe; as well as Melanie Boulden, current president of the stills business unit for Coca-Cola North America, for its North America unit. 

Additionally, the beverage company has appointed leaders for its five global categories, who will report to chief marketing officer, Manolo Arroyo. It has appointed Selman Careaga, current president of the sparkling business unit for Coca-Cola North America, as its category lead for Coca-Cola; Jasmin Vinculado, current sparkling general manager for the Mexico business unit, for its Sparkling Flavors category; Matrona Filippou, current president of the Southern and East Africa business unit, for its Hydration, Sports, Coffee and Tea category; and Sedef Salingan Sahin, current vice president of operations for the Europe, Middle East and Africa group, for its Nutrition, Juice, Dairy and Plant category.

The restructuring and leadership shuffle come as the beverage giant said it will be restructuring two weeks ago. The nine new operating units will help streamline the company. They will also be highly interconnected, with more consistency in structure and a focus on eliminating duplication of resources and scaling new products more quickly. 

According to the company then, its structural changes will result in the reallocation of some people and resources, which will include voluntary and involuntary reductions in employees.

It has rolled out a voluntary separation program that will give employees the option of taking a separation package, should they be eligible.The program will provide enhanced benefits and will first be offered to approximately 4,000 employees in the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico who have a most-recent hire date on or before Sept. 1, 2017. A similar program will be offered in many countries internationally. The company’s overall global severance programs are expected to incur expenses ranging from approximately $350 million to $550 million. Coca-Cola has declined to comment on Marketing's queries about the impact on its Southeast Asian markets.

Earlier in July, Coca-Cola scaled up its digital strategies to ensure its brands are “within a click’s reach of desire” as online shopping continues to surge due to COVID-19. The company enhanced its brand presence on the "virtual aisle", investing in high-quality content such as photos, videos and product descriptions, to ensure its brands look as good online as they do in store. The beverage giant said then that it will be prioritising package options that are fit-for-purpose for online sales, boosting investment in digital imagery, increasing in-app visibility with e-delivery grocers, and piloting digitally enabled fulfillment models.

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