Smith named Coca-Cola operating chief

Brian Smith has been named chief operating officer of The Coca-Cola Company, to replace James Quincey, who left the role to become chief executive at the start of this year.

In a management reshuffle, the beverage giant also announced that Asia unit president John Murphy will become chief financial officer when Kathy Walker retires next year.

Smith joined Coke in 1997 and has been in charge of both the Brazil and Mexico divisions as well as being the president for the Latin America unit. He then became group president of Europe, Middle East and Africa two years ago.

Quincey said: “I have tremendous respect for Brian, who is a valued business partner. 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.

“I join everyone at Coca-Cola in thanking Kathy for her many years of exemplary service to the company. She leaves a great legacy as a leader, including as a mentor who created a strong organisation and put the building blocks in place to continue to transform and modernise our finance function.”