By Modupe Gbadeyanka
The Coca-Cola Company today announced a number of senior leadership appointments to drive its ongoing transformation into a growth-oriented, consumer-centred, total beverage company.
Key changes, which will be effective when President and COO James Quincey becomes Chief Executive Officer on May 1, include: Combining Global Marketing, Customer and Commercial Leadership, and Strategy into one combined function under the leadership of a new Chief Growth Officer to drive growth across five strategic beverage categories.
Appointing a Chief Innovation Officer to elevate Global Research & Development into a standalone innovation function reporting directly to the CEO. This represents the increased importance of innovation to the company’s growth plans.
Positioning the Information Technology function as a direct report to the CEO given the importance of digitization as a growth enabler for the company’s business.
Combining key global transactional and expertise services into an expanded and reconstituted Integrated Services organization that will primarily focus on financial, procurement and associate shared services.
“Today’s organizational announcement is another building block in our company’s transformational journey,” Quincey said. “We are moving quickly to structure our organization for faster growth and to ensure we can respond to the fast-changing needs of our consumers, customers, system and associates around the world. Each of the leaders named today is highly capable and understands our clear mandate for change, and I look forward to partnering with them as we transform our business for the future.”
The changes support work already under way to create a leaner, more agile corporate organization that is focused on strategy, governance and vital strategic initiatives, such as innovation and portfolio growth through leading brands and categories. They also follow changes made by Quincey to the company’s international operations leadership team last year.
Leaders assuming new or expanded responsibility in the organization and reporting directly to Quincey, effective May 1, include: Francisco Crespo, who currently serves as President of the Mexico business unit, will fill the newly created role of Chief Growth Officer. A 28-year company veteran, Crespo will lead the company’s global marketing, corporate strategy, and customer and commercial leadership teams to create a consolidated team with a clear mandate for driving global growth. This role will lead the evolving category cluster model focused around five beverage categories: sparkling, juice/dairy/plant-based, tea and coffee, water and enhanced waters and energy. Julie Hamilton, Chief Customer and Commercial Leadership Officer, and the Corporate Strategy and Planning and Global Marketing leadership teams will report to the Chief Growth Officer.
Crespo is uniquely qualified for this role, having successfully led the expansion of Coca-Cola’s total beverage portfolio in each of the key Latin America markets where he has worked. Since 2013, he has overseen the continued expansion of products and brands in Mexico, which is one of the company’s most important international business units.
Robert Long, currently Vice President, Research and Development, will become a direct report to the CEO as Chief Innovation Officer. This move is indicative of Coca-Cola’s increased focus on accelerating the growth of its consumer-centric brand portfolio with hundreds of new products and continued innovation in beverages, packaging, ingredients and other areas of the business around the world.
Barry Simpson, currently Senior Vice President and Chief Information Officer, will remain in his role but be elevated as a direct report to the CEO to increase visibility and focus on efforts to digitize all aspects of the company’s business. Barry became CIO last fall and oversees all of the company’s global information technology strategy, services and operations.
Kathy Waller, currently Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, will assume expanded responsibility for the company’s strategic governance areas as Executive Vice President, Chief Financial Officer and President, Enabling Services. In addition to the Global Finance organization, the Global Technical team led by Dr. Ed Hays, a newly created Integrated Services team, which will be led by Robin Moore, and a new Business Transformation team to be led by Mark Eppert will report to Waller. The Integrated Services team will focus on financial, procurement and associate shared services while the Business Transformation team will be responsible for driving the changes needed to implement the company’s new operating model, including productivity and zero-based work.
Moore, currently Chief of Internal Audit, joined the company in 1995 and has held numerous roles of increasing responsibility within the Finance organization. She led the establishment of the company’s global finance shared service capability within the company’s Global Business Services (GBS) organization. She will replace Ann Taylor, currently President of GBS, who will retire from the company after a successful 32-year career. Taylor’s leadership in the formation and growth of the GBS organization since 2009 has been instrumental in creating the foundation to expand shared services capabilities through a new Integrated Services organization.
Eppert, who currently serves as Chief Financial and Supply Chain Officer for Coca-Cola North America, will join Waller’s team to lead Global Business Transformation. With nearly 25 years of Coca-Cola experience, Eppert is uniquely qualified for his new role having held key leadership positions in Coca-Cola Refreshments and in the North America business unit, including Foodservice and On-Premise, the Sparkling Category business unit and the Columbus, Ohio Syrup Branch. Brent Hastie, currently Senior Vice President, Corporate Strategy and Planning, will succeed Eppert as Chief Financial and Supply Chain Officer for Coca-Cola North America. Hastie joined the company in 2006 and has held numerous finance, strategy, commercial and brand leadership roles in Corporate, Coca-Cola Refreshments and the North America Group. He will report to Sandy Douglas, Executive Vice President and President, Coca-Cola North America.
Chams Appoints Former UBA MD/CEO to Board
By Aduragbemi Omiyale
A former Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of the United Bank for Africa (UBA) Plc in Tanzania, Mr Ayobola Abiola, has been appointed to the board of directors of Chams Plc.
Mr Abiola headed the Tanzanian operations of the leading financial institution for four years and was also and the General Manager/Divisional Director in charge of Corporate Banking at UBA. He was once the Senior Vice President and Head of West & Lagos Regions at First City Monument Bank (FCMB).
In a statement issued by the Legal Adviser of Chams, Ms Yetunde Emmanuel, it was disclosed that Mr Abiola will be on the board of the organisation as a non-executive director effective July 1, 2022.
The new board member is an economics, banking, finance and tax expert with over 25 years of cognate experience in investment, commercial and mortgage banking.
He is the founder and Chief Executive Officer Capstone Development (West Africa) Limited, a real estate investment and advisory firm. He was until recently the Executive Director, Business Development and Treasury Services at Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria (FMBN), a position he was appointed to by President Muhammadu Buhari.
Prior to joining FMBN, he was Vice Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Fullhouse Advisory Partners, an Investment and financial advisory services firm which specializes in capital raising, project finance and investment advisory services.
How Businesses Can Focus on Employees to Avoid The Great Resignation
By Hyther Nizam
Across the globe, The Great Resignation has become a source of concern among businesses. It refers to the unprecedented number of workers quitting their jobs in the Covid-19 and post-pandemic eras.
In Nigeria, businesses have recently seen their fair share of voluntary employee resignations. Most notable was the “big quit,” an exodus of top tech talents from Nigerian Banks. Nigerian millennials and Gen Zers, who comprise a large percentage of job-hoppers, also account for the majority of the young workforce population in the country. Now, they are re-evaluating their working experiences after the hard hit of the pandemic. The Deloitte Global 2022 Gen Z and Millennial Survey reveals that the youngest generations in the workplace are now seeking balance, prioritising happiness, and expressing higher expectations for compensation.
With an unemployment rate of just over 33%, you may think few employed Nigerians can really afford to leave their jobs. But the truth is, even here, employers aren’t immune to The Great Resignation. Thanks to the rise of remote work, Nigerian workers (especially those with in-demand skills) can truly compete in the global job market, and not limit themselves to regional roles. They have faced many of the same pressures as other workers around the world as a result of the pandemic, meaning they have the same temptations to start their own businesses or enter the freelance market.
What can businesses do to avoid losing employees to the Great Resignation? While the answer may vary depending on industry and market, the one universally key solution is to earn employee support.
The importance of employee loyalty
Before digging into how organisations can earn employee support, it’s important to remember why it matters. Losing an employee can take a big toll on your company (with the effect magnified for smaller organisations). On average, it takes 41 days to fill a position. That’s 41 days other people in the business have to do all of a former employee’s duties in addition to their own.
Further, replacing an employee can be incredibly expensive. According to the analytics and advisory company, Gallup, it can cost one-half to two times the employee’s annual salary to replace them. Whichever way you cut it, you could give that employee a substantial salary increase and it would still be more financially viable than replacing them.
It’s also worth pointing out that there’s a positive correlation between good employee experiences and good customer experiences. That makes sense—a single positive interaction with an employee can dramatically alter how a customer perceives and experiences the company. The chances of a positive interaction taking place are much slimmer in companies that have high levels of employee turnover and a lack of institutional experience.
Building employee support
With that in mind, how should companies go about building the employee experiences they need to ensure they have the full support of their workers?
The HR team can leverage cloud technology and implement a comprehensive human resource management system (HRMS) in order to automate most of their mundane manual tasks. Through HRMS, an organisation can also create a self-service model so employees have a single portal for various activities, such as applying for leave and adding medical claims. By creating workflows, the company can ensure that when a request is raised, the appropriate approver is automatically notified. Automating processes will free up the HR team to focus on employee engagement activities.
Rethinking talent acquisition
The rise of remote work as a result of the pandemic saw many people leave big cities for smaller towns and villages. For some, the move was inspired by the prospect of a better quality of life; for others, it was about being closer to family.
Rather than lament the loss of centralised offices in big cities, smart organisations should see this as an opportunity. Instead of fighting over the same pool of talent available in metro cities, they can create opportunities for those living in non-urban centres or rural areas, and invest in skill development.
At Zoho, for instance, we have always believed that talent is everywhere, though opportunities are not. We have traditionally hired people from all backgrounds and opened offices away from city centres in order to tap under-utilised talent in smaller towns and rural areas. We expanded this approach during the pandemic by opening smaller, satellite offices wherever we had enough employees residing, instead of prompting them to come back to the office. We have been hiring locally in these satellite offices. By creating opportunities in the sought-after tech sector in non-urban and rural areas, we help communities retain talent and flourish. This adds a sense of purpose to the job, which also helps in retaining talent.
The right (virtual) environment
Even if an organisation meets its employees’ needs when it comes to working location, it’s still important for it to provide the best possible working environment (even if it’s a virtual one).
One of the most effective ways of doing this is to take a considered approach to the software solutions your employees work with on a daily basis. Rather than a patchwork of software solutions, for example, organisations can benefit from a unified enterprise software suite that meets all their needs—from documentation to meetings, to CRM. In an increasingly hybrid work environment, keeping data and processes on a unified system leads to better visibility and fosters cross-functional collaboration.
A holistic approach
Employers looking to ensure that their businesses do not fall prey to The Great Resignation need to have an understanding of the concerns Gen Z and millennial employees have with respect to the workplace and their career paths. They should be deliberate in creating a flexible working experience where the employee can thrive in a globally competitive environment.
Sabi Hires Four Advisers to Bolster Growth
By Adedapo Adesanya
Sabi, Africa’s leading provider of commerce infrastructure for the distribution of goods and services, has appointed four new advisory group members whose experience and networks will support its mission to resource and grow small and medium-scale enterprises (SMEs) in the informal sector.
Those hired by the organisation are Mr Vidit Aatrey, founder/CEO of Meesho; Mr Ian Black, Managing Director of Shopify; Mrs Sapna Goyal, Corporate Development Director of Udaan; and Mr Bame Pule, founder of Africa Lighthouse Capital.
Mr Aatrey, one of the leading Indian entrepreneurs of his generation, is an alumnus of IIT-Delhi and embarked on the journey of creating Meesho back in 2015 together with his college batchmate and friend, Mr Sanjeev Barnwal, with an aim to build an e-commerce start-up for small businesses at a time when everyone told them that e-commerce was saturated.
Seven years later, they have today built India’s largest social commerce platform at Meesho, which has already empowered 2 million+ entrepreneurs, mostly women, and is on its way to creating more.
Through its platform, it enables entrepreneurs to start an online business with zero investment and provides them with the resources, tools, logistics and payment capabilities to run their business. Prior to Meesho, Mr Aatrey worked with ITC and Inmobi.
Mr Black, who heads Shopify Canada, has managed the business and go-to-market strategy for Shopify Retail in Toronto by overseeing sales, solutions, partnerships, and operations, working alongside marketing and R&D leadership.
Prior to joining Shopify, he was head of UberEATS’ American and Canadian divisions. He was also a management consultant with Bain & Company in Toronto and New York where he advised companies and private equity funds on strategy and growth.
Mrs Goyal, on her part, has an investing experience in early and growth-stage internet start-ups in India. Prior to Udaan, she worked with Goldman Sachs Investment Partners VC & Growth Equity Fund and was responsible for investments in the Indian internet space.
Mrs Goyal also has investing experience in Indian Public Markets as part of a hedge fund at Goldman Sachs. She is passionate about the power of digital transformation on the Indian economy and how it is a great leveller. She is an active angel investor.
Mr Pule founded Africa Lighthouse Capital, an independent private equity firm in 2012 to invest in and nurture businesses into African champions.
The firm has a particular focus on helping investee companies adopt global best practices regardless of sector, attain benchmarks equivalent to those of global peers, and expand into multiple key African markets. Prior to founding Africa Lighthouse Capital, Mr Pule worked at Actis Capital, ShoreView Capital, Goldman Sachs & Credit Suisse in New York and Salomon Brothers/Citigroup in Los Angeles.
Commenting on the appointments, Mrs Anu Adasolum, co-founder/CEO of Sabi: said “Our goal has always been to build and establish a robust team of experts – from our leadership team right down to our agent network – that lives and breathes our core values and mission to transform the B2B commerce industry in Africa.
“We’re extremely pleased to announce that the four members are talented and strategic business leaders whose broad experience will further strengthen our commitment to enable financial inclusion within the B2B community in Africa’s growing informal economy while providing world-class solutions for our merchants. I look forward to working closely with the team to drive forward the next phase of growth.”
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