The FINANCIAL — The Board of Directors of The Coca-Cola Company on April 27 elected Francisco Crespo, Robert Long, Jennifer Mann and Bea Perez as Senior Vice Presidents of the company, and Barry Ballow as a Vice President.
Each of the appointments is effective May 1 in conjunction with a number of previously announced senior leadership changes occurring as James Quincey becomes the company’s new Chief Executive Officer, according to the Coca-Cola Company.
Francisco Crespo, who currently serves as President of the Mexico business unit, has been elected as a Senior Vice President in his new role as Chief Growth Officer. A 28-year company veteran, Crespo will lead the company’s global marketing, corporate strategy, and customer and commercial leadership teams to create a consolidated team with a clear mandate for driving global growth. This new role will lead the evolving category cluster model focused around five beverage categories: sparkling soft drinks; energy; juice, dairy and plant-based drinks; water, enhanced water and sports drinks; and tea and coffee.
Robert Long, currently Vice President, Research and Development, has been elected as a Senior Vice President in his new role as Chief Innovation Officer. Long is a 13-year company veteran. As previously announced, the creation of the Chief Innovation Officer role is indicative of the company’s increased focus on accelerating the growth of its consumer-centric brand portfolio with hundreds of new products and continued innovation in beverages, packaging, ingredients, and other areas of the business around the world.
Jennifer Mann, currently Chief of Staff to Quincey, has been elected as a Senior Vice President. A 20-year veteran of the company, her role has been expanded as Chief People Officer. Coca-Cola’s long-term growth and success is dependent on investing in and developing its people and strengthening the talent pipeline. Mann will lead efforts to drive cultural change throughout the organization and will continue to serve as Quincey’s Chief of Staff.
Bea Perez, currently Vice President and Chief Sustainability Officer, has been elected as a Senior Vice President in her new role as Chief Public Affairs, Communications and Sustainability Officer. In this role, Perez will leverage the important external stakeholder work done in Public Affairs and Communications, sustainability and partnerships in a more strategic, integrated and holistic way. Perez is a 23-year company veteran.
Barry Ballow, currently Finance Director for Global Juice and Still Beverages, has been named Vice President following his recent appointment as Chief of Internal Audit. During a nearly 27-year career in the Coca-Cola system, he has served in various financial and operational roles including Director of Trading and Procurement; Audit Director in the Corporate Audit Department; as a manager at Coca-Cola plants in Anaheim, Calif., and Columbus, Ohio; and in Accounting, Finance and Internal Audit for Coca-Cola Enterprises. Before joining the Coca-Cola system, Ballow worked for Ernst & Young as a Senior Auditor and is a Certified Public Accountant.
The Board today also declared a regular quarterly dividend of 37 cents per common share. The dividend is payable July 3, 2017 to shareowners of record as of June 15, 2017. The Board earlier this year approved the company’s 55th consecutive annual dividend increase, raising the quarterly dividend 6 percent from 35 cents to 37 cents per common share. This is equivalent to an annual dividend of $1.48 per share, up from $1.40 per share in 2016.