Read for your self Brian Kelley's departure from Coke
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
A top Coca-Cola executive who was expected take over the Atlanta-based company’s new North America operations is instead leaving to head Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, a much smaller company specializing in single-serve gourmet coffee and brewing equpiment.
Brian Kelley, who in September was named to become president and chief operating officer of Coca-Cola Refreshments, will become president and chief executive officer of Waterbury, Vt.-based Green Mountain, starting in December.
Kelley, 51, had been expected to take over Coca-Cola Refreshments, which has 68,000 employees, in January. A Coca-Cola spokesman would not comment on whether Kelley’s sudden departure came as a surprise or whether Coca-Cola tried to keep him.
Steve Cahillane, Coca-Cola Refreshments’ current president and CEO, announced Kelley’s departure Monday in a memo to staffers. Cahillane, who soon will lead Coca-Cola Americas, said he had “mixed emotions” about Kelley’s departure and said his contributions were “important to improving our operating effectiveness and efficiencies.”
Beverage Digest editor John Sicher said Kelley’s departure probably did catch the beverage company by surprise. He would have been in charge of Coca-Cola’s foodservice, regional sales, product supply, customer care, customer retail and commercial operations in the U.S., with the company’s Canadian operations also reporting to him.
“I don’t think they expected him to leave,” Sicher told The Atlanta Journal-Constitutition on Tuesday, but he added Coca-Cola has “a deep bench, fortunately.”