Coca-Cola Bottling Company United has created the position of chief commercial officer.

The Alabama-based Coca-Cola bottler, the third largest in the US, said late last week that it has promoted John Sherman to the role. Sherman, who is currently the president of Coca-Cola United's east region, will assume the position from the beginning of this month.

Coca-Cola United, formed in 1902, covers parts of the six south-eastern states of the US. Earlier this year, The Coca-Cola Co gave the five independent bottlers in the US, including Coca-Cola United, the option to take on further distribution territory from Coca-Cola.

Sherman will lead the reorganisation of the bottler's “legacy” operating units, commercial leadership, operational marketing and customer & revenue management. He will also head up the transition and integration of the recently-announced acquisition of new franchise operations in Alabama and Georgia, the company said.

When contacted by just-drinks today (24 September), a spokesperson for Coca-Cola United said: “This is a new position in anticipation of the expansion of Coca-Cola United’s territory beginning in Q1 of 2014.

“There has not been an announcement on which territories will be in Q1”, the spokesperson added. “We anticipate an announcement by (Coca-Cola Co) in Q4 of 2013.”