Melanie Boulden Appointed President, General Manager at Coke VEB

Reebok senior marketing executive Melanie Boulden has been appointed as president and general manager of The Coca-Cola Company’s Venturing & Emerging Brands (VEB) division, effective August 5, according to an internal company email sent to employees yesterday.

In the email, Coca-Cola North America (CCNA) president Jim Dinkins wrote: “In this role, Melanie will accelerate VEB’s important work as CCNA’s futurist group —investing in entrepreneurs and companies, new products and technologies— to push our thought-leadership and help keep a rich pipeline of innovation flowing into our business.” She will report directly to Dinkins.

Boulden joins CCNA having just completed her first year as senior vice president of global marketing at Reebok, during which time she led the company’s “marketing vision, strategy and global execution,” according to the letter. She has also previous served in roles at large companies across the spectrum of CPG, including Kraft Foods, Crayola and Henkel Consumer Goods. Boulden was also named one of Ad Age’s 2019 U.S. Women to Watch.

The Iowa State University graduate succeeds former VEB president and general manager Scott Uzzell, who, ironically, left to join Reebok competitor Converse in December.

“Melanie joins CCNA and VEB at a pivotal time as we accelerate our North America business and total beverage portfolio of options, and we seek to drive long-term sustainable growth as a top-tier company,” Dinkins wrote.

VEB’s management has been in transition over the last 12 months. In March 2018, Matt Mitchell, VEB’s VP of Investments & Ventures, left to head a new Japanese division for Coke; he was succeeded by Jim Murphy in April 2018. Following Uzzell’s departure, the company announced structural changes to the division, including staff reductions and a shifting of select brands into the broader Coke system.