After Profits Take a Hit, Coke Names New Marketing Chief

JoeTripodiOn the heels of a disappointing quarter for the Coca-Cola Co., one that prompted a revision of its long-term strategic plans, the cola giant announced a major shake-up in its marketing department. Coke today revealed that Joe Tripodi, its Chief Marketing and Commercial Officer, will retire at the end of February, 2015. His successor will be Marcos De Quinto, who has been President of Coke’s Iberia Business Unit and Vice President, Europe Group since 2000.

Tripodi had overseen Coke’s marketing efforts since 2007, having joined the company after holding CMO roles with Allstate Insurance Co., The Bank of New York, Seagram Spirits & Wine, and MasterCard International. Upon his appointment, Coke had for the first time unified corporate responsibilities of traditional advertising, point-of-purchase marketing and in-store sales under a single executive, according to Ad Age. He was seen as a source of stability in his position at Coke, which had cycled through several marketing executives in the decade prior.

Nevertheless, Tripodi’s retirement comes at time when Coke is under pressure from shareholders to reinvigorate sales and profits, which tumbled by 14 percent in the last quarter. Earlier this week, Coke laid out a five-point plan in hopes of stemming the tide, one that included and initiative to “strategically targeting brand and growth investments that leverage its global strengths.”

MarcosDeQuinto (1)“This includes previously announced plans to improve the quantity and quality of marketing, as well as making future investments that will target markets and categories where brands remain underfunded relative to the opportunity,” Coke said in its release.

Ad Age reported that Coke had considered a handful of internal candidates to replace Tripodi, though ultimately landed on De Quinto, an experienced marketer who joined Coke in 1982. De Quinto held various marketing and general management roles across Europe and Asia, something that Coke Chairman and CEO Muhtar Kent noted as a point of strength for his upcoming role as CMO, which will begin on Jan. 1.

“Although Marcos’ DNA is that of a marketer, he has held a number of leadership roles throughout his career and he will bring a global view with strong operational experience to this key role,” Kent said in a statement. “Our global marketing organization will benefit greatly from Marcos’ proven track record of success and his unique combination of world-class operational and marketing expertise.”