CHUCK FRUIT TO STEP DOWN AS COKE CMO

Held Post for Only a Year; Will Stay on as Senior Advisor

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CHICAGO (AdAge.com) -- Coca-Cola Co.'s chief marketing officer, Chuck Fruit, whom many within the company expected to retire by year's end, yesterday said he accepted a new position with the marketer as a senior advisor.
Chuck Fruit will step down from his post as Coca-Cola CMO to become a senior advisor.
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Mr. Fruit had been in the top marketing role for a little more than a year, his second stint in the post. In addition to his marketing responsibilities, he has been working on Chairman-CEO E. Neville Isdell’s "Manifesto for Growth," including looking at specific individual roles and responsibilities in the company's marketing structure.

Mary Minnick
His tenure as marketing chief came into question in May when Mary Minnick was put in charge of marketing as executive vice president and president of marketing, strategy and innovation, a new position at the beverage giant. Some marketing executives questioned the redundancy of Ms. Minnick’s role and that of a CMO. Since Ms. Minnick ascension in May, Mr. Fruit had been more actively involved in media and sponsorship decisions, said executives close the marketer.

In mid-July, insiders said Mr. Fruit’s possible retirement was expected and that Ms. Minnick asked him to stay on board as long as he liked after her elevation.

In his new role, Mr. Fruit, 58, will focus on new media strategies, sports and entertainment marketing, and key prestige relationships. He said the move was part of an overall restructuring of the marketing organization at the beverage giant.

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