Longtime Coca-Cola marketer Emmanuel Seuge is leaving the beverage giant to start his own company investing in startups. Mr. Segue, who joined the company in 1997 as an intern, most recently served as senior VP-content for Coca-Cola North America. He played a key role shaping Coke's approach to entertainment marketing and content creation.
"Emmanuel has helped to transform our approach to content in North America by bringing creative, social, entertainment and ventures together to engage with people in the most compelling ways in a new era of content creation and consumption behaviors," Ivan Pollard, senior VP-strategic marketing at Coca-Cola North America, stated in an internal memo to employees announcing Mr. Seuge's departure.
A spokeswoman for Coca-Cola said it has not yet named a replacement. Mr. Seuge's new company will involve an equity fund that invests time and money in emerging start-ups, she said.
His exit follows other significant personnel changes at Coke's North American marketing department. In November, Wendy Clark, who was Coke's president of sparkling brands and strategic marketing in North America, left the company to become president and CEO of North America for DDB Worldwide. Coke replaced her by elevating two executives to new roles. Stuart Kronauge, who was senior VP-customer marketing, was promoted to lead brand marketing. Mr. Pollard, who was senior VP-connections, investments and assets, took on an expanded role overseeing strategic marketing, including content, connections, investments, assets and portfolio strategy and innovations.
Mr. Seuge took the North American position in early 2015 after serving as the marketer's global VP-alliances and ventures. In the global role he oversaw partnerships related to big events such as the Olympics and World Cup. In 2013, he was inducted into the American Advertising Federation's Advertising Hall of Achievement. In 2014, he was named to Ad Age's Creativity 50 list.
In the internal memo, Mr. Pollard said Mr. Seuge "has built our entertainment marketing practice on the belief that passions like music, gaming and movies can accelerate the way we engage with people and new generations. He also saw early on the role that start-ups and entrepreneurs could play in marketing innovation and launched 'Marketing Ventures,' which led Coca-Cola to build strategic partnerships with companies like Spotify, Misfit and Endomondo."