Coca-Cola Names New CMO As It Looks to Reinvigorate Brands and Sales

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Coca-Cola chief marketing officer Joe Tripodi was at least partially responsible for one of the few bright spots in Coca-Cola’s recent marketing performance: The “Share a Coke” campaign, which gave Coke sales an upward blip of hope amid a secular decline that has been decades in the making.

But that wasn’t enough to save his job, as CEO Muhtar Kent keeps casting about for ways to reinvigorate the company’s flagging sales of its signature beverages and products, unsatisfactory growth in its healthful beverages and renewed mojo into its iconic brand, according to the Financial Times. Now holding the third spot on Interbrand’s Best Global Brands, Coca-Cola was #1 only two years ago.

Tripodi, who has held the top marketing spot since 2007, is retiring in February 2015 to make way for Marcos de Quinto, a Coca-Cola veteran who takes over the CMO role on January 1 and who currently runs the company’s Iberia business unit and is vice president of its Europe Group.

Under Tripodi’s supervision, Coke launched “Open Happiness,” one of its most successful global brand campaigns a few years ago. Now in his late 50s, he “brought stability to Coke after the company had cycled through several CMOs in the previous decade,” the Wall Street Journal said. [more]

But the company continues to be beset by a number of problems, especially American consumers’ decided shift away from carbonated soft drinks in general and—because of worries about artificial sweeteners—also away from Diet Coke.

Growth in Coca-Cola’s better-for-you brands such as Minute Maid and Vitaminwater haven’t been robust enough to offset its struggling soda volume. They not only reported weaker-than-expected third-quarter results on Tuesday but also warned that they would fall short of annual growth targets for both this year and 2015.

Kent expects de Quinto, who has had his own challenges in the feisty world that is Coca-Cola, to provide a spark.

“Our global marketing organization will benefit greatly,” he said in a press release, “from Marcos’s proven track record of success and his unique combination of world-class operational and marketing expertise.”

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[Image via Coca-Cola. Interbrand is the parent company of brandchannel.]

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