Another Marketing Exec Leaves Coke Amid Corporate Overhaul

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Ivan Pollard
Ivan Pollard

Ivan Pollard, who oversees Coca-Cola's media operations in North America, is leaving the company as the beverage giant continues to reshape its marketing leadership structure under new CEO James Quincey. Mr. Pollard, senior VP-strategic marketing, will depart immediately, ending a six-year stint at the company.

Stuart Kronauge, who last week was promoted to take on a dual role of business unit president of USA operations and senior VP-marketing, shared the news in an internal memo. "We're grateful to Ivan for his significant contributions to our global and North America marketing organizations in his six-year career with the company. Under Ivan's guidance, the global and North America connections teams developed industry-leading best practices in how we engage our consumers and customers," she stated.

Mr. Pollard did not immediately return messages for comment.

In 2015, Ms. Kronauge and Mr. Pollard assumed broader marketing responsibilities after Wendy Clark left Coca-Cola to become president and CEO of North America for DDB Worldwide. Ms. Kronauge in January was promoted to senior VP, overseeing brand and strategic marketing, and Mr. Pollard began reporting to her. She gained the operational responsibilities last week after it was announced that Hendrik Steckhan was retiring as president of USA operations.

Coke did not immediately name a replacement for Mr. Pollard. In her memo today, Ms. Kronauge stated that Coke in the coming weeks will announce a new reporting structure for Coca-Cola North America strategic marketing. "This organization plays a critical role in our business unit, and we have a deep bench of talented marketers who will build on our strong foundation," she stated.

The leadership changes in North America come amid corporate belt-tightening. The company in late April announced it would cut 1,200 jobs globally as part of a move to put in place what Mr. Quincey described as a "leaner corporate organization." He took on the CEO role on May 1 after serving as chief operating officer.

The job cuts are focused on the so-called "corporate center," not the individual business units, such as North America, as Coke appears poised to give more power to leaders of local markets. Coca-Cola eliminated the global CMO role in March when it was announced that Marcos de Quinto was leaving the company.

Mr. Pollard, a U.K. native who holds a degree in physics, in 2015 played a key role in selecting UM as Coca-Cola's lead media agency for North America, replacing MediaVest. He was named an Ad Age Media Maven in 2013.

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