More Turnover at Coca-Cola

Another top executive will depart the Coca-Cola Company later this month amid what the company expects will be a "transition year."

Mnet 142152 Coke Bottles Lead 1

Another top executive will depart the Coca-Cola Company later this month amid what the company expects will be a "transition year."

Guy Wollaert, Coke's chief technology and innovation officer, will reportedly leave the Atlanta-based beverage giant after four years in the post and more than two decades with the company.


Ed Hays will replace Wollaert, who intends to move closer to his family in Europe. His departure marks just the latest example of executive turnover at the company. Chief marketing officer Joe Tripodi left in February, Gary Fayard retired as chief financial officer last spring and Steve Cahillane, chief of the company's Americas operation, departed early last year.

The changes at the company's top levels come at a particularly important time for Coke. The company reported a 55 percent decline in fourth-quarter profit, a mark that left Coke short of its annual profit goal for the first time in years. In addition, CEO Muhtar Kent said he expected the environment this year "to become even a bit more volatile than 2014."

Company leadership will also be charged with steering through changes in its soda division, where sales have lagged in North America over consumer concerns about sugary drinks and artificial sweeteners.

Coke launched its Coca-Cola Life soda last year, which uses a blend of sugar and stevia extract to reduce calories by 35 percent compares to leading colas. Last month, the company announced the Fairlife brand of premium milk, which has more protein and less sugar than regular milk.

In addition, Coke has overhauled its marketing and packaging in the U.S. and Europe and recently announced 100,000 of its North American vending machines would accept Apple Pay by the end of the year.

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