Coca-Cola Europe axes GB marketing role and consolidates into four regions

Coca-Cola Europe has decided to scrap the GB marketing director role and has opted to consolidate its ten existing European business units into four, can exclusively reveal.


Coke confirmed that the role of GB marketing director, held by Cathryn Sleight, will cease to exist as a result of the changes being made to the business. Sleight has opted to leave the business and marketing will instead move into the North West Europe & Nordics (NWEN) region.

As part of the consolidation, which was first revealed by Marketing Week, the four business units will be Iberia, Germany, North West Europe & Nordics (NWEN) and Central & Southern Europe. The NWEN Business unit will comprise Great Britain, Ireland, France, Belgium, Netherlands, Luxemburg, Denmark, Sweden, Finland, Norway and Iceland. However, redundancy consultations are still ongoing. A spokesperson says:  “Last week we provided employees with more information about the planned changes.  We are now working as quickly as we can to finalise positions and appoint people.  We will inform people of decisions that impact them as soon as they are made”.

The shake up sees Sanjay Guha, Coca-Cola GB president, named as marketing and Olympics director for NWEN. President of the Northwest Europe and Nordics business unit James Quincey remains in place and all new staff will report to him.

A series of NWEN senior marketing roles have also been confirmed, including Nick Robinson becoming My Coke (Coke, diet Coke and Coke Zero) director, Philippa Classey assuming the role of glaceau business manager, and Michel Gotlib appointed as integrated marketing communications director. Classey and Robinson will be based in the UK, while Gotlib will be based in France.

Dominique Reiniche, president of Coca-Cola Europe, says: “The changes we are making will simplify the way we operate in all areas of the business. This will drive efficiency by enabling us to be faster to market and to increase the scale of our activities across Europe.”

Robinson moves to the pan-market role having led the GB MyCoke brand team since joining from Diageo in 2009. Classey launched the glaceau brand in GB in 2008 and will now drive the brand’s growth across the region; and Gotlib will now direct integrated campaigns, including sponsorship and digital platforms, across the region. He has overseen marketing communications activity in France since 2007

Joe Tripodi, chief marketing and commercial officer at The Coca-Cola Company, says: “Cathryn has made a great impact on the business during her time at Coca-Cola Great Britain & Ireland. She recently oversaw the Coke range breaking the £1 billion sales barrier – a first for a UK grocery brand. She was responsible for the launch of Coke Zero, hailed as the biggest NPD launch in over 20 years in the UK, building it into a £56m brand today and leading the successful launch of glaceau vitaminwater in 2008 and launching and driving the growth of Relentless, now the UK’s fastest growing energy brand.”

See tomorrow’s Marketing Week for more information.


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