Annis Paschal Lyles, one of Coca-Cola's top media executives, is leaving the company, according to people familiar with the matter.
Ms. Lyles, VP-connections planning and investment for North America, joined Coca-Cola in 1989 and is well-respected within the industry. Her departure comes as Coca-Cola begins implementing a cost-cutting plan that includes eliminating 1,600-1,800 positions in corporate, Coca-Cola North America and Coca-Cola International.
A Coca-Cola spokeswoman declined to comment on Ms. Lyles' situation. The spokeswoman provided a statement on the recently announced job cuts, stating that "approximately 500 positions will be eliminated in Atlanta. It's important to point out that while some positions will be eliminated, others will be created, and qualified associates will be considered for those new positions."
Ms. Lyles reported to Ivan Pollard, the company's senior-VP for connections and assets in North America.
Ad Age named Ms. Lyles a "Media Maven" in 2012, noting that she worked to boost Coca-Cola's marketing capabilities through efforts such as annual social media and mobile summits and in-store media forums. "With the media landscape continuing to evolve at an accelerated pace, one of our challenges is to determine the optimal media mix," Ms. Lyles told Ad Age in 2012. "I believe it requires both an art and science approach in order to create brand love and drive brand value."
Her departure comes as Coca-Cola prepares to operate for a few months without top North American marketing executive -- Wendy Clark, who recently announced that she is taking a leave until March 31 to work on a personal project. It is expected that Ms. Clark is leaving to work for presumed presidential candidate Hillary Clinton. A Coca-Cola spokesman told Ad Age last week that the company's first-quarter initiates are already planned and under way.