Monday is Day One for Coca-Cola’s new CEO.
James Quincey, 52, a British-born veteran executive at the Atlanta icon, takes the job officially as predecessor Muhtar Kent retires after nearly a decade in the post.
He is the 16th executive to head the company in the last 125 years. (Two, Robert W. Woodruff and Charles Howard Candler, headed the company twice.)
Though Coke remains comfortably profitable and one of the world’s best-known brands, Quincey ascends amid a raft of challenges for the company. Soda sales have slowed in recent years as consumers turn away from sugary drinks and look for alternatives.
Total revenue is down for the past four years, and the company has turned to selling smaller serving sizes at higher prices per ounce to help keep up profits.
Meanwhile Coke is finishing a complex and expensive retooling of bottling operations begun under Kent.
Last week, the incoming CEO announced a new and deep round of job cuts that will hit the Atlanta headquarters hard.
“I don’t think we’re broken, but I don’t think we’re where we need to be,” Quincey said in an interview with The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
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