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AUS: Director to leave Coca-Cola Amatil as review kicks in

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Coca-Cola Amatil's (CCA) Australian beverage MD is to be the first senior director to leave the company since a restructuring was announced.

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John Murphy, who joined CCA in 2010 from Foster's, will leave at the end of next month, CCA's chief executive, Alison Watkins, said today (12 May). Watkins said Murphy “agreed that there are no suitable positions within the new organisation and has decided to leave CCA”.

The move comes a month after Watkins announced a strategic review as she warned first-half underlying operating profits were to drop by 15%. CCA has been hit by difficult trading conditions in the Australian grocery channel, with a major write-down for its canned fruit and vegetable unit also hampering performance.

As well as Murphy's departure, the first phase of the review will see CCA's Australian non-alcoholic beverages business and the licensed and alcohol business units report separately to Watkins, who took over from Terry Davis in February.

CCA New Zealand’s head, Barry O’Connell, will become MD for Australian non-alcoholic beverages, while Shane Richardson will continue as director for licensed & alcohol. Chris Litchfield, CCA New Zealand’s sales director, will be acting head of New Zealand & Fiji until a permanent replacement is found, CCA said. The changes will take place on 1 June.

Watkins said of the restructuring: “Our core non-alcoholic beverages business unit will require strong leadership and close alignment with our partner The Coca Cola Co to execute against an agreed strategy which will leverage CCA’s strengths and drive transformational change.”

Last year, CCA re-entered the Australian beer and cider market, and announced a number of new distribution tie-ups with Molson Coors and Swedish cider Rekorderlig.


Sectors: Soft drinks, Water

Companies: Coca-Cola Amatil

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