Gupta is new Coca-Cola chief

New Delhi: Sanjiv Gupta is slated to take over as the president and CEO of Coca-Cola India on 4 July 2003. Alex von Behr, the outgoing president, is moving to the Philippines to head the operations there.

Coca-Cola group president (East and South Asia) Patrick T Siewert is likely to make the announcement in Delhi next week. Gupta was the deputy president of the company since April 2002. The post was created in India for the first time presumably to facilitate a smooth transition.

When Gupta takes charge of Coke next week, he will be the second Indian to do so. American-Indian Jaidev Raja was the first CEO of Coke in India. Corporate watchers have often blamed Coke for its incoherent leadership policy.

While Pepsi had P M Sinha on the top for more than a decade, Coke has had three expat CEOs in nine years. After Raja, it was Richard Nicholas III, Donald Short and Alex von Behr.