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Coca-Cola to eliminate bureaucratic layers at regional offices for leaner operations

Published 15 September 2015

Soft drinks maker Coca-Cola is doing away with reporting layers at regional offices as part of a $3bn cost-cutting exercise to streamline its operations globally.

In countries such as India, the impact will be seen on heads of marketing, human resources, customer and commercial, research and development (R&D), technical and strategy departments. Now these functional heads are directly being connected with the Atlanta corporate centre. The first layer of approval will be the country head, following which they will have to seek approvals from verticial heads in the US.

Coca-Cola India president Venkatesh Kini told The Economic Times, "This change, which we call rewiring the organisation, is resulting in making the company a lot more nimble and quicker. We have a lot more autonomy of operating within the business units now."

The bureaucratic layers of regional groups based in India, Singapore, Istanbul, London and Mexico are being removed.

The firm's $3bn cost-cutting drive is expected to be completed by 2019. In 2014, the firm had announced plans to axe around 2,000 jobs across different markets, and the large impact of it fell on global regional offices.

A few months ago, the soft drinks company had announced the name of James Quincey as president and chief operating officer, who is mostly viewed as the successor to present global CEO Muhtar Kent.

Last month, Coca-Cola had signed an agreement to acquire minority stake in organic-juice maker Suja Life.

Though the acquisition amount was not officially disclosed, recently Reuters reported that Coca-Cola was planning to acquire this minority interest for approximately $300m.