COCA-COLA NORTH AMERICA PRESIDENT STEPS DOWN

Jeff Dunn Was 22-Year Veteran of Beverage Giant

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CHICAGO (AdAge.com) -- Coca-Cola Co. said yesterday the president of Coca-Cola North America, Jeff Dunn, would leave the beverage giant.

Leadership of the North American unit, which

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accounts for 30% of the global company's total sales volume, will fall to President-Chief Operating Officer Steve Heyer.

Was leading merger
Mr. Dunn, a 22-year veteran, had been leading the merger of the marketer's domestic food service, bottle and can, and Minute Maid units into a single group. At that time, the company cut 1,000 jobs. Coke said Mr. Dunn was leaving to "pursue his own entrepreneurial goals." It is unclear whether the Atlanta-based company will seek a replacement for the post.

In his first year as the No. 2 executive leader at Coca-Cola, Mr. Heyer has tapped management from outside the company, including Dan Palumbo as global chief marketing officer, and shifted agency assignments, including consolidating media with Publicis Groupe's Starcom MediaVest Group. He has frequently talked about changing the status quo and demanded better collaboration among its agencies and media partners.

Mr. Heyer last week told analysts and investors that Coca-Cola needs to pursue profitable growth rather than just volume growth. He said the company would widen its packaging options beyond two-liter bottles and multi-packs, which are frequently subject to price wars.

Through the first nine months of 2003, Coca-Cola volume rose 2% after earlier declines. The company is led by Chairman-CEO Doug Daft.

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