Coca-Cola Enterprises announces senior management changes

by FoodBusinessNews.net Staff
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ATLANTA — Coca-Cola Enterprises today announced changes to its senior management team, including the retirement of Chief Operating Officer G. David Van Houten, Jr.; the appointment of Shaun B. Higgins to president, European Group; and the naming of William W. Douglas as chief financial officer.

Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer David Van Houten will retire by the end of 2005, and the process has begun for the selection of his successor.

A 34-year veteran of the Coca-Cola system, Mr. Van Houten began his career with Coca-Cola Enterprises in 1986 as president and general manager of the Coca-Cola Bottling Company of North Texas. He then held positions of increasing responsibility including vice president and general manager for the Texas region and president of the Western North American Group until he was named executive vice president and president of the North American Business Unit in June of 2001. Mr. Van Houten became chief operating officer in February 2004.

Shaun Higgins will rejoin the Coca-Cola Enterprises European Group as president, filling the vacancy created by the departure of Dominique Reiniche who was recently named president of The Coca-Cola Company's European Union Group.

With more than 27 years of experience in the soft drink industry, Mr. Higgins has in-depth knowledge of Coca-Cola Enterprises' North American and European operations having previously served as group president of Coca-Cola Enterprises Europe, and president and chief operating officer of Coca-Cola Beverages Canada Ltd.

William W. Douglas will become chief financial officer. Mr. Douglas joined the Coca-Cola system in 1985 contributing leadership skills in a number of European senior management roles, including his position as chief financial officer of Coca-Cola HBC, one of the world's largest Coca-Cola bottlers.

Charles Lischer will replace Mr. Douglas in his current role as controller and principal accounting officer. Since 1991, Mr. Lischer has progressed through a number of key roles at Deloitte and Touche, most recently serving as a national office partner in the Accounting and Standards Group in the Wilton, Conn., office.

Scott Anthony, currently vice president, investor relations, will assume additional responsibility for the corporate planning process, and has been named vice president, investor relations and planning. Mr. Anthony joined Coca-Cola Enterprises in 1990 and has held a number of positions of increasing responsibility in finance including capital planning and acquisitions. He has led investor relations since 2000 and was named vice president, investor relations in 2003.

Mark Schortman was elected an officer and named vice president, North American Sales, assuming leadership for the Customer Management Group currently led by Daniel Marr, who will retire by the end of the year.

Mr. Schortman has 22 years of experience in the Coca-Cola system including his most recent position as head of the Planning and Revenue Management Group. Prior to this role, he served as region vice president and general manager for Great Britain where he also chaired the European Customer Council.

Mr. Schortman's career has included a wide range of corporate and global positions including director of operational marketing, director of sales development for The Coca-Cola Company in Canada, vice president of national sales for Coca-Cola Beverages, and vice president and general manager for the Ontario, Canada and Rocky Mountain divisions.

Mr. Schortman and Mr. Marr will work closely together over the next several months to assure a smooth transition process. Following his retirement, Mr. Marr has agreed to serve as a consultant providing advice and expertise on global customer strategy.

He began his career with Coca-Cola Enterprises in 1988 holding a number of positions of increasing responsibility including vice president/general manager in Houston, Texas, and vice president of marketing for Coca-Cola Enterprises. In January 2000, he was promoted to senior vice president, chief customer officer, and in October 2003 he was promoted to president, North American Sales.

Hal Kravitz was elected an officer and named vice president, business development and chief revenue officer. With 22 years of experience in the Coca-Cola system, Mr. Kravitz will be responsible for revenue management, business planning, channel and sales operations, and category development.

After several roles of increasing responsibility at Coca-Cola North America, Mr. Kravitz served as the Eastern Group vice president of field sales and marketing prior to becoming Southeast Region vice president and general manager at Coca-Cola Enterprises.

William Hartman will assume the duties of Margaret Carton, vice president, information technology, who is leaving Coca-Cola Enterprises. Mr. Hartman's background includes more than 30 years of consulting and business experience, and he is currently group president of Brand Velocity, Inc., a consulting company based in Atlanta. Prior to joining Brand Velocity, Mr. Hartman was managing director of the products group for Cap Gemini Ernst & Young.

Guy Thomas, vice president, U.S. Sales Operations, will retire by the end of the year after spending his entire career in the soft drink industry. Mr. Thomas began at Coca-Cola Enterprises in 1986 as a director of marketing with the North Texas division and was promoted to region vice president of the entire Texas/Mid-South region in 1996.

After serving as vice president for the Central North American Group and vice president for the West region of the North American Group, Mr. Thomas was named vice president, U.S. Sales Operations in 2004.

Bob Gray, senior vice president, operations and capital planning will retire by the end of 2005. Mr. Gray joined Coca-Cola Enterprises in 1992 as the vice president of information systems. In 1997 he was named group chief financial officer of the European Group before becoming senior vice president, operations and capital planning in 2000.

Today’s announcement follows changes announced in March to the senior management and operating structure of The Coca-Cola Company.

Coca-Cola Enterprises Inc. is the world's largest marketer, distributor, and producer of bottle and can liquid nonalcoholic refreshment. Coca-Cola Enterprises sells approximately 80% of The Coca-Cola Company's bottle and can volume in North America and is the sole licensed bottler for products of The Coca-Cola Company in Belgium, continental France, Great Britain, Luxembourg, Monaco, and the Netherlands.

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