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Coca-Cola taps veteran executive as new president

ATLANTA (AP) — Coca-Cola Co. has named longtime company executive Brian Smith as its new president and chief operating officer.

Smith joined the company in 1997. He has led Coke’s operations in Brazil and Mexico and most recently was the head of its Europe, Middle East and Africa division.

Smith will report to CEO James Quincey. Quincey served as Coke’s president and COO from 2015 to 2017, when he was named CEO.

Atlanta-based Coca-Cola said the new leadership structure will help Quincey focus on long-term strategy while Smith leads day-to-day operations.

Coke also said Thursday that Chief Financial Officer Kathy Waller will retire in March 2019. John Murphy, who leads Coke’s Asia Pacific group, will become the company’s new CFO.

Coca-Cola’s shares were down 15 cents at $45.71 in midday trading.

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