By James Atkinson
Coca Cola Amatil managing director – Australian Beverages, John Murphy, is to leave the company under a restructure announced by group managing director Alison Watkins this morning.
From June 1 this year, the Non-Alcoholic Beverages and the Licensed & Alcohol business units will report separately to the group managing director.
Watkins said the changes followed completion of the first phase of the strategic review of the business.
“An organisation structure which provides a strong focus on the performance and strategy of each of our businesses is important,” she said.
“Our core Non-Alcoholic Beverages business unit will require strong leadership and close alignment with our partner The Coca Cola Company to execute against an agreed strategy which will leverage CCA’s strengths and drive transformational change.”
“The Licensed & Alcohol business unit will report directly to me to enable greater speed of response to market, facilitating a more entrepreneurial approach within a different industry sector, working closely with our partners to identify and capitalise on growth opportunities.”
Shane Richardson will continue in his role as director, Licensed & Alcohol, while Barry O’Connell, CCA New Zealand’s current managing director, has agreed to take up the position of managing director, CCA Australia – Non-Alcoholic Beverages.
Watkins said it was regrettable that as a result of this structural change and appointments, John Murphy, CCA’s current managing director – Australian Beverages, had agreed that there are no suitable positions within the new organisation and had decided to leave CCA, after ensuring a smooth transition period, at the end of June.
“I would like to thank John for his obvious passion, energy and enthusiasm for the business which he displays on a daily basis, and of course the tremendous impact he has had, particularly in developing our beer and spirit portfolio and strategy, which will be his legacy with CCA,” Watkins said.
Two layers of management axed
Murphy’s departure further simplifies CCA’s reporting structure following the announcement in February that managing director – Australasia, Warwick White, would leave the business.
Watkins said the new Non-Alcoholic MD, Barry O’Connell, had 20 years of system experience with Coca-Cola Hellenic in Europe prior to joining CCA.
“He has an impressive track record of success in the industry and has demonstrated strong leadership and delivered improved results in the New Zealand business since joining CCA in early 2013,” she said.
As Barry O’Connell will be relocating to Australia, Chris Litchfield, CCA New Zealand’s current sales director, will be appointed as acting managing director of CCA New Zealand & Fiji, and a decision on a permanent appointment will be made in the coming months.