Food & Beverage

Coke's C-suite shuffle 'bringing a knife to a gunfight': Trader

Shaking up Coca-Cola

Analysts have been speculating about what Coca-Cola's leadership shakeup means for the company, but the answer is pretty obvious, said Peter Andersen, senior portfolio manager at Congress Asset Management in Boston, on Thursday.

"If you want to extrapolate why Coke is doing this, it's pretty obvious that they are probably going to be looking for international growth, perhaps on the M&A side," Andersen told CNBC's "Power Lunch."

Shares of Coke were down 0.42 percent Thursday when the Atlanta-based company named a new president and COO—the first since 2008—prompting buzz among analysts that he could potentially be next in line for CEO.

(See what the stock is doing now.)

James Quincey, a 19-year company veteran and president of Coke's Europe group, will take the reins of Coke's operations both in North America and abroad, taking on many responsibilities from CEO Muhtar Kent, who was the last COO of the beverage behemoth.

Coke hasn't addressed the succession rumors. But Quincey "will complement Muhtar's skills and qualities, making them a formidable team as they work to advance the company's growth agenda," said Coke's board director, Sam Nunn, in a statement.

Quincey's international background, combined with his "instrumental role" in the recent merger of several Coke bottling companies, gives investors a hint at what's going on in the boardroom, Andersen said. But he said he hopes there is a wider search for a new CEO before Quincey follows in Kent's footsteps.

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"In an industry such as carbonated drinks, you probably need all the creativity you could possibly muster because it is such a crowded space," Andersen said. "Perhaps an outsider would lend some new insights that perhaps an insider might be too jaded to have."

Shares of Coke are down 2.76 percent for the year, despite beating earnings estimates in the second quarter. Revenue fell to $12.16 billion from $12.57 billion, the company said in July, after currency headwinds abroad.

"The changes that have been announced today, it's almost like bringing a knife to a gun fight," Andersen said. "The challenges that Coke and its competitors have are so large that I'm not sure this one change will be enough."

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DISCLOSURE: Andersen owns between 1 million to 2.5 million shares of Coca-Cola.