Douglas has played a pivotal role in guiding CCNA’s resurgence. The group has grown value in sparkling brands, while introducing a large number of new products across a wide range of beverage categories. CCNA also has successfully launched and grown smaller package choices, such as mini cans.
We spoke to both executives about the leadership transition and what it means for
We’re seeing a tremendous amount of change in the industry, especially in the North American market. What have you done to navigate CCNA through this period?
Douglas: Over the last decade, our team has been able to return CCNA to sustainable growth and transform the business to help ensure that its success can continue for years to come. I’m especially proud of our refranchising efforts. This has been an enormous project, and we’re putting our system back in the hands of independent bottlers. The process in the U.S. is very close to being completed.
I feel great about what lies ahead, because I have tremendous confidence in our company’s vision under the leadership of James Quincey. Jim Dinkins is the ideal person to step in to lead the next chapter of growth for CCNA. His proven leadership with our customers and in expanding our portfolio of juices, natural health beverages, chilled tea and value-added dairy gives him the breadth of experience and skills required for this role. We have a talented CCNA leadership team, the right growth strategy and a system of approximately 90,000 associates who have executed beautifully to get us to where we are today.
Dinkins: Sandy has led CCNA during a period of massive changes in our industry. I appreciate his support and hope to advance on his great work, particularly in transforming our North America system and cultivating an outstanding senior leadership team. It’s humbling to be selected for a role that has been held by such a passionate, visionary leader as Sandy.
Why is this the right time for a leadership transition?
Douglas: As reported through the second quarter, our North American business has been operating from a position of strength. A couple of years ago, James Quincey and I created a plan to set up CCNA for long-term, sustainable growth. Since then, we have evolved our growth strategy, continued expanding our total beverage portfolio and worked to complete our refranchising plan.
Throughout this transformation, our business has been able to perform well in a very competitive industry, while leading growth among all large consumer goods companies in North America, as reported through the second quarter. I had a personal goal to retire from the company after completing the plan we laid out. After 30 years with
What needs to happen in the short term to continue momentum in North America?
Dinkins: We can never stand still in this fast-changing marketplace. We have to continue following the consumer by accelerating innovation and expanding our portfolio to give people the beverages they want. We must continue building capabilities to better serve consumers and customers in an increasingly digital world. I’m passionate about fostering an agile and entrepreneurial culture where our people are empowered to test new ideas and put them into action quickly.
Sandy, what have been the most significant changes in the business?
Douglas: Our entire strategy over the past decade has been focused on evolving our business for the future. First, we saw the opportunity to redesign the economic model with our independent bottling partners. We worked together to re-write bottling contracts that had been in place for decades, and refranchising was the catalyst to make those changes. We’ve created an aligned system that is focused on creating value, which shifts us away from our traditional focus on sales volume. That change is much more than just a business tactic. It’s a strategy that ensures the system has the right incentives in place. We’ve also accelerated innovation and expanded our portfolio. We’ve had great success with internal innovations like Gold Peak tea. Our Venturing & Emerging Brands unit, which turned 10 years old this year, has brought some great brands into our portfolio, like Honest Tea, Zico coconut water and fairlife dairy products. VEB is continually working on a future pipeline of new products in growing categories.
Jim, what do you think are the biggest opportunities ahead for
Coca-Cola in North America?
Dinkins: Sandy often talks about how cool it is to play for a team that’s winning championships even though we’re not very good yet. I love that analogy, because it means we have to continue striving to get better every day. Our consumers’ wants and needs are changing, our customers are becoming more complex and, of course, we must improve our own capabilities so we can make our day-to-day work easier and get new products and ideas into the market faster. In a way, we’re still in the early stages of our journey to truly become the best and most consumer- and customer-centric consumer goods company in North America. And that’s very exciting for me personally.
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