Coca-Cola North America chief stepping down immediately

Atlanta-based Coca-Cola Company named Alfredo Rivera as the new president of Coca-Cola North America. SPECIAL

Credit: Coca-Cola Company

Credit: Coca-Cola Company

The president of Coca-Cola Company’s flagship North America unit is stepping down immediately, and his replacement is shifting from a part of the world that has been a crucial training ground for the company’s top executives.

Jim Dinkins, 58, who took over Coca-Cola North America in 2018, is retiring “after a highly successful career with the company,” Coke said in a press release Monday. The move includes Dinkins receiving severance benefits, according to a company filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Jim Dinkins, the president of Coca-Cola North America, is stepping down from his post and retiring, the Atlanta-based Coca-Cola Company said. Photo courtesy of Coca-Cola Company

Alfredo Rivera is taking the helm of the North America unit, the largest of the Atlanta-based company’s operating groups by revenue. The unit includes the United States and Canada, but not Mexico.

The 59-year-old Rivera, a native of Honduras, has been president of Coke’s 40-country Latin America unit since 2016. He has been with the company 23 years.

James Quincey, Coke’s chairman and chief executive officer, came up through the Latin America unit in part. So did the company’s president and chief operating officer, Brian Smith, and chief financial officer John Murphy.

Duane Stanford, the publisher and editor of Beverage Digest, said the shift to Rivera “is a significant change for Coca-Cola at a very important time, especially as the company works to adjust to a pandemic that has heavily affected its away-from-home business.”

The company has spread practices it launched in Latin America to other parts of its operations, Stanford said.

The company recently slogged through one of the worst quarters in its history as the coronavirus shuttered restaurants and stifled sports events and other public gatherings where beverages are sold.

While Dinkins is stepping down from his current post immediately, he will serve as a senior advisor until his retirement on Feb. 28, 2021.

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