US: Coke Enterprises reshuffles senior management

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Coca-Cola Enterprises yesterday announced a major reshuffle of its senior management team.

The US-based soft drink bottler said that the changes would include the retirement of chief operating officer G. David Van Houten, Jr., the appointment of Shaun B. Higgins to president, European Group, and the naming of William W. Douglas as chief financial officer.

"We are fortunate that some of the industry's strongest operators have developed their careers at Coca-Cola Enterprises. Our leadership continues to set industry standards," said John R. Alm, president and chief executive officer. "The talent and flexibility of our senior management team allow us to leverage their strengths and demonstrate the breadth of their capabilities by placing them in new roles and responsibilities."

The company said Van Houten will retire by the end of 2005, and the process has begun for the selection of his successor.

"David's three decades in the Coca-Cola bottling business have been distinguished by outstanding operational excellence and exemplary leadership in developing people," said Alm. "David is a highly respected industry leader who is recognized as one of the premier operators in the Coca-Cola system. We are fortunate to have had the benefit of his talent and insight since our company's inception."

Shaun Higgins will rejoin the Coca-Cola Enterprises European Group as president, filling the vacancy created by the departure of Dominique Reiniche who was recently named president of The Coca-Cola Company's European Union Group.

"Shaun is one of our most seasoned veterans with a track record of success in Europe," said Alm. "Dominique Reiniche and Shaun Higgins will make a powerful team who understand the challenges of the changing European marketplace and are committed to its long-term growth."

William W. Douglas will become chief financial officer. He joined the Coca-Cola system in 1985 contributing leadership skills in a number of European senior management roles, including his position as chief financial officer of Coca-Cola HBC, one of the world's largest Coca-Cola bottlers.

Charles Lischer will replace Douglas in his current role as controller and principal accounting officer. Since 1991, Mr. Lischer has progressed through a number of key roles at Deloitte and Touche, most recently serving as a national office partner in the Accounting and Standards Group in the Wilton, CT office.

Scott Anthony, currently vice president, investor relations, will assume additional responsibility for the corporate planning process, and has been named vice president, investor relations and planning. Anthony joined Coca-Cola Enterprises in 1990 and has held a number of positions of increasing responsibility in finance including capital planning and acquisitions. He has led investor relations since 2000 and was named vice president, investor relations in 2003.

Mark Schortman was elected an officer and named vice president, North American sales, assuming leadership for the customer management group currently led by Daniel Marr, who will retire by the end of the year.

Schortman has 22 years of experience in the Coca-Cola system including his most recent position as head of the planning and revenue management group.

Hal Kravitz was elected an officer and named vice president, business development and chief revenue officer.

William Hartman will assume the duties of Margaret Carton, vice president, information technology, who is leaving Coca-Cola Enterprises.

Guy Thomas, vice president, US sales operations, will retire by the end of the year after spending his entire career in the soft drink industry.

Bob Gray, senior vice president, operations and capital planning will retire by the end of 2005.

"The Coca-Cola system has benefited from more than 30 combined years of leadership from Guy and Bob," said Alm. "Their invaluable knowledge of the industry and the bottling system has helped strengthen Coca-Cola Enterprises."

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