US: Management changes afoot at Cott Corp

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Cott Corp has announced plans to revamp its Canadian and US operations while parting company with its US president.

The retailer brand soft drink supplier said today (29 September) that it will realign the management of its Canadian and US businesses to a North American basis, "to leverage management strengths, improve supply chain efficiencies and position the North American business to become more profitable and responsive to customers' needs."

Under the new structure, Mark Benadiba, currently executive vice president of Canada and International, will head North American operations and supply chain functions including manufacturing, purchasing, logistics and quality. John Dennehy, currently vice president of new business development for Cott U.S.A., will lead North American sales and marketing. Benadiba and Dennehy, along with Jason Nichol, Cott's vice president of business development for Wal-Mart, will report directly to president and CEO, John Sheppard.

Robert J. Flaherty, executive vice president and president of Cott U.S.A., has also left Cott to pursue other interests, the company said.

The company said that it estimates pre-tax charges of US$60m to US$80m will be recorded over the next 12-18 months, with operating income improving by between US$10m and US$15m annually when these changes are completed.

"The actions announced today are right for Cott's customers, employees and shareowners," said Frank E. Weise, Cott's chairman. "They will enable the company to reap the benefits of retailer brand growth potential and position Cott to continue leading that growth. The new structure puts proven Cott executives into key leadership positions with John Sheppard taking a direct role in turning around and growing Cott's North American operations. The skills and experience he demonstrated while delivering record results as president of Cott's US division are exactly what the company needs to remain the preferred supplier of retailer brand beverages."

Sectors: Soft drinks

Companies: Cott Corporation

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