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Coca-Cola names Brian Smith chief operating officer, taps new CFO 

Key Points
  • Coca-Cola said Brian Smith, who currently serves as president of its Europe, Middle East and Africa group, will become its chief operating officer, effective Jan. 1, 2019.
  • The post has been vacant since James Quincey became CEO last year.
  • Kathy Waller, its CFO, will retire by the end of the year.
  • John Murphy, the president of Coke's Asia Pacific unit, will replace Waller.
Brian Smith, COO, Coca Cola
Source: Coca-Cola

Coca-Cola announced Thursday it named company veteran Brian Smith as its next chief operating officer, filling a post that had been vacant since James Quincey became CEO last year.

Smith will take on his new role at the start of next year. He currently serves as president of the company's Europe, Middle East and Africa group.

Smith has been with the company since 1997. Prior to his current role, he served as president of both the Brazil and Mexico divisions before he was named group president for Latin America. He has served as group president of EMEA since 2016.

The company also said Kathy Waller, its chief financial officer, will retire by the end of the year, after 32 years of service. John Murphy, the president of Coke's Asia Pacific Unit, will replace her.

Coke shares were recently down slightly in trading Thursday. The stock has fallen about 1 percent over the past year.

In addition to these appointments, Coke also tapped Nancy Quan as its chief technical officer, effective Jan. 1, 2019. Quan replaces Ed Hays, who will retire at the end of March. Chief Information Officer Barry Simpson's duties will be expanded at the start of next year, the company said.

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Greetings, death: Coca-Cola's marketing slogan backfires badly in New Zealand

Key Points
  • One of Coca-Cola's marketing slogans in New Zealand has turned into an embarrassing blunder for the company, according to media reports.
  • The company had a vending machine signage in New Zealand that read, "Kia ora, mate" — which essentially translates to "Greetings, death," in the Maori language.