Stephen C. Jones Leaves to Pursue Other Interests

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BOSTON ( -- Stephen C. Jones has resigned as chief marketing officer at Coca-Cola Co., as expected. The company issued the announcement internally today, saying Mr. Jones would pursue other interests.

The well-liked and respected executive has worked with the company since 1986 in Canada, the U.K. and Japan as well as the U.S., overseeing brands including Sprite and Diet Coke.

A favorite of Chairman-CEO Doug Daft,

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according to people knowledgeable about the company, Mr. Jones' departure had been presumed since soon after the 2001 arrival of Steven J. Heyer.

Heyer's rise
Since joining Coke from AOL Time Warner's Turner Broadcasting System, Mr. Heyer has been elevated from president of new ventures to the company’s overall president and chief operating officer. He picked up marketing duties along the way.

Mr. Jones became chief marketing officer in 2000. A search is under way for a replacement who would report to Mr. Heyer. Mr. Jones had reported to Mr. Heyer of late, though he previously had reported directly to Mr. Daft.

One outsider in contention had been Geoffrey Frost, corporate vice president for global marketing and communications for Motorola's personal communications sector, but that did not work out.

Coca-Cola in January announced a streamlining plan to reduce staff by at least 1,000, half of whom would come from its Atlanta headquarters. Staffers are expected to be identified by the end of this month.

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