Coca-Cola to split North American business in two

Following the reorganization of the its operating structure last year, Coca-Cola will split its North American business in two.

"Effective January 1, 2014, the integrated North America business will be segmented into a traditional company and bottler operating model that will better suit the unique needs of the North America market," the company said in a statement.

With this, Coca-Cola will return to a franchise model in the US, with the beverages delivered to local stores by independent companies.

J A M Douglas who is currently global chief customer officer, would head Coca-Cola North America.

The bottling unit of the business, to be called Coca-Cola Refreshments, would be headed by Paul Mulligan, who is currently head of commercial of its Bottling Investments Group (BIG) and region director responsible for Japan and Latin America BIG operations.

The company had said in April that it would return to a franchise model in the US where independent companies would deliver the drinks to local stores.

''Today's announcement represents the next step in the evolution of the business announced last year when the Company consolidated leadership of its global operations under the Bottling Investments Group, Coca-Cola International, and Coca-Cola Americas,'' said Muhtar Kent, chairman and chief executive officer, The Coca-Cola Company. 

Kent said the company had organised the business to intensify its focus on key markets, streamline reporting lines, and provide flexibility to adjust the business within these regions in the future.

"Now, we are in a position to leverage this flexibility to return to a traditional company and bottling operating model in North America, which will enhance our focus on execution and accelerate the refranchising of our bottling system in our flagship market,'' he added.