Promotion Makes Braun a Likely Frontrunner in CEO Succession Planning.
Names New Leaders in Latin America, Africa.
Coca-Cola has announced the promotion of Latin America Operating Group President Henrique Braun to a new role as President of International Development. The appointment makes him a top contender to succeed Chairman and CEO James Quincey. When he starts officially on Jan. 1, Braun will oversee seven of nine geographic operating units: Latin America; Japan and South Korea; ASEAN and South Pacific; Greater China and Mongolia; Africa; India and Southwest Asia; and Eurasia and Middle East. Braun’s purview will not include North America and Europe. He will report to Quincey.
PRIORITIES. On Dec. 5, at BD’s annual Future Smarts conference, Braun took the stage for his first U.S. interview, where he was asked about his priorities for the new post. “Priority number one would be to keep the momentum that we have built within the operating units,” he said. “We’re definitely emerging stronger as a system. It’s probably the best era of alignment with our bottlers on the vision for growth. And we’ll try to accelerate things that are working in one operational unit that we can scale faster across all these regions. So that’s going to be my priority.”
PERSPECTIVE. Braun’s path is one seen before at Coke for a future CEO. Muhtar Kent was put in charge of international operations outside of North America in early 2006 before being promoted to president and COO later that year on his way to becoming CEO in July 2008. Asked at Future Smarts if the promotion makes him the frontrunner to become the next CEO, Braun didn’t take the bait, saying he would focus on this new job and “see what happens,” adding, “I’m going to have a lot to be busy for the next two years.” While Braun’s promotion would appear to make the 54-year-old a front-runner to succeed Quincey, incoming North America President Jennifer Mann, 50, has had some international experience running Global Ventures and was Quincey’s chief of staff. She will continue to report to Quincey while running one of Coke’s most important operating units (see next story for Mann’s initial actions). Meanwhile, President and CFO John Murphy, 60, has a significant role overseeing financial operations, Global Ventures, and Platform Services. Coke also announced this morning that he is taking on oversight of Coke’s Bottling Investments Group. Aside from any race for CEO, and from a practical standpoint, Braun’s promotion streamlines Quincey’s direct reports following Brian Smith’s retirement as COO. All operating unit presidents currently report to Quincey. That is expected to now be pared to Europe and North America (in addition to reports outside of operations, including the McDonald’s Division).
NEW LEADERS ANNOUNCED. On Dec. 13, Braun announced new leaders within his organization, to start on Feb. 1, according to a system source. Bruno Pietracci will take over as president of the Latin America Operating Unit, succeeding Braun. Latin America Central Zone President Luisa Ortega will succeed Pietracci as president of the Africa Operating Unit. Within Latin America, Luis Felipe Avellar becomes Mexico Zone president, following Roberto Mercade’s promotion to president of Coca-Cola’s McDonald’s Division.
© 2023 Beverage Digest.
Design, CMS, Hosting & Web Development :: ePublishing