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Coca-Cola board elects new financial chief, bolsters leadership team

BY CSA STAFF

As announced in February, The Coca-Cola Company’s board has today elected Kathy N. Waller as EVP and CFO. Waller is replacing Gary Fayard who is retiring after 20 years with the company.

Waller most recently served as VP, finance and controller. She joined the company in 1987 as a senior accountant in the accounting research department and assumed roles of increasing responsibility including principal accountant for the Northeast Europe/Africa Group, marketing controller for the McDonald’s Group, VP, chief of internal audit and VP, controller.

Waller also leads the Coca-Cola Company’s Women’s Leadership Council and helped develop its highly successful Women in Leadership global program. She serves on the advisory board of Catalyst, the leading nonprofit organization with a mission to expand opportunities for women and business.

Prior to joining The Coca-Cola Company, Waller worked for the firm now called Deloitte. She received her bachelor’s and MBA degrees from the University of Rochester in New York and is a Certified Public Accountant.

The board today also elected Larry M. Mark, Mark Randazza, Dr. Wamwari Waichungo, Ronald J. Lewis and Jos Wellekens as VPs of the company, effective immediately.

Mark was named as VP, controller, and replaces Waller in the role. He joined the company in 1991 in the corporate audit department and has since served in roles of increasing responsibility including director of investor relations, VP of finance, North America Foodservice Division; CFO, Europe Group; CFO, Coca-Cola North America Group and most recently as deputy controller for the company.

Randazza was named as VP, assistant controller. Randazza also serves as the chief accounting officer of the company and is responsible for regulatory compliance of global accounting standards and internal and external reporting. He began his career with the company in 1992 as a senior accountant and has since held roles of increasing responsibility. Throughout his career, he has served as supervisor of treasury accounting, finance manager, director of accounting research and financial reporting and assistant controller.

Dr. Waichungo serves as VP, scientific and regulatory affairs (SRA). In this role, she leads company efforts to develop and implement a globally aligned scientific strategy that promotes the safety and benefits of Coca-Cola products, packages and ingredients; oversees regulatory compliance; and supports scientific advocacy. She joined the company in 2000 and has held various positions including director, strategy and business planning director for the North and West Africa Business Unit, and director, strategy, planning and insights for the South Africa Business Unit. Prior to joining the company, Dr. Waichungo held product and consumer research roles at Campbell Soup Company and ConAgra.

Ronald J. Lewis currently holds the position of VP, procurement and chief procurement officer of and is responsible for managing external spending across the Coca-Cola system. Prior to his current role, Lewis held the position of SVP for Coca-Cola Refreshments, VP, supply chain for Coca-Cola Enterprises, VP and chief procurement officer for Coca-Cola Enterprises, and president and CEO of Coca-Cola Bottlers’ Sales and Services Company LLC. Before starting his career with the Coca-Cola system, he was employed by Mars and Cargill in various supply chain, procurement, trading and risk management roles.

Jos Wellekens serves as VP, chief quality, safety and sustainable operations officer. In his role, Wellekens develops policy and governance for the quality, safety and environment spaces. Prior to his current role, he served as director of quality assurance, scientific and regulatory affairs and technical services for the Europe Group. He joined the company in 1992, and has held roles of increasing responsibility in quality, SRA, supply chain operations and technical leadership across the system. In 2007, he was named director of quality assurance and technical operations for the European Union Group, and later added scientific and regulatory affairs to his role.

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Lowe’s realigns merchandising organization

BY CSA STAFF

Lowe’s has promoted Michael P. McDermott to chief merchandising officer, replacing Michael A. Jones, who will assume the role of chief customer officer, effective April 30. The company also named Joseph M. (Mike) Mabry as strategy and experience design executive, replacing Robert J. Gfeller, who left the company last month.

Both Mabry and McDermott will report to Jones.

McDermott will be responsible for the merchandising offering for Lowe’s U.S. business, pricing and promotion and all global sourcing activities. He joined Lowe’s in 2013 as SVP, general merchandising manager-building and maintenance. McDermott has more than 20 years of experience in product leadership, merchandising, marketing and commercial sales, having served previously with General Electric, where he was sales leader-appliances and a member of the company’s corporate commercial council.

"Mike McDermott is an accomplished business leader and, during his time at Lowe’s, has helped develop the 2014 merchandising plan as well as processes to improve the building and maintenance brand portfolio to make it more relevant to both Pro and DIY customers. Lowe’s is fortunate to have a strong bench of leaders in Mike McDermott and Mike Mabry to help move our company forward in delivering omnichannel customer experiences," said Jones.

Meanwhile Mabry will focus on developing U.S. strategy, aligning experience design and building a capabilities roadmap that delivers compelling, differentiating, omnichannel customer experiences across the company’s U.S. business. He will retain responsibility for digital interfaces, including Lowes.com and ATGstores.com. Mabry joined Lowe’s in 2003 and led the company’s supply chain organization until 2012 when he was named digital interfaces executive.

"Mike Mabry has demonstrated leadership across functions and an outstanding ability to develop a comprehensive roadmap that’s aligned with our strategy," Jones explained. "His leadership experiences will serve the company well as Mike takes on this important role of developing the U.S. strategy, aligning experience design and building a capabilities roadmap to deliver omnichannel customer experiences that differentiate Lowe’s."

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Will a new generation learn to love Godzilla?

BY CSA STAFF

Godzilla returns to the big screen in a few weeks and if the film’s classic representation of the oversize amphibian resonates with audiences retailers could be looking at solid sell through of Godzilla goods.

The Warner Bros. Pictures’ and Legendary Pictures’ movie, simply called Godzilla, opens in theaters on May 16 and some of the biggest names in the toy business have filled retailers’ shelves with related merchandise. Warner Bros. Consumer Products partnered with Bandai America, JAKKS Pacific, Rubie’s Costume Co., NECA, Sideshow Collectibles and others.

In addition to featuring the original Godzilla, as opposed to the T-Rex style creature that appeared alongside Matthew Broderick in a film from the late 90s, the new film has some serious actors in it. For example, Bryan Cranston of Breaking Bad fame, Oscar nominee Ken Watanabe, Oscar winner Juliette Binoche and David Strathairn from The Bourne Legacy are among the cast.

“Already one of the most recognizable characters in all of pop culture, Godzilla’s return to the big screen will re-introduce the ‘King of the Monsters’ to a whole new generation," said Brad Globe, president of Warner Bros. Consumer Products. "By working with key licensing partners who are inspired by the unforgettable experience of the film, WBCP will bring its visuals to life with imaginative product lines that will engage fans both new and old."

Master toy partner Bandai America is offering a line-up of toys, action figures and play sets inspired by Godzilla, including the Godzilla 2014 Atomic Roar Action Figure, which features atomic-breathing action and the Godzilla 2014 Pack of Destruction, which includes destructible buildings for Godzilla to rip apart.
JAKKS Pacific has created huge Godzilla figure which extends 43 inches and feature 12 points of articulation and a swinging tail. Global partner Rubie’s Costume Co. will offer Godzilla costumes for children and adults, a detailed Godzilla mask.

Licensing partner NECA will feature a complete line of novelty and collector toys across a variety of price points that will launch at retail throughout the year, beginning with collectible figures. High-end collectibles partner Sideshow Collectibles will offer authentic statues inspired by the film. WBCP has also partnered with a number of apparel licensees to bring fans inspired apparel and accessories.

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