Coke Names Heyer Ventures Chief

Steven J. Heyer has been named president of Coca-Cola’s Ventures Unit, responsible for managing all non-carbonated new businesses and ventures. He will report to chairman and CEO Douglas Daft.

Heyer, 48, was most recently president and COO of the Turner Broadcasting System, where, during his tenure, he helped launch 14 television networks in various markets including the Cartoon Network in Japan and Brazil, CNN En Espanol, a partial-day German language version of CNN and versions of Turner Classic Movies in Europe and Asia.

In a statement, Daft said Heyer’s leadership will “facilitate the acceleration of profitable growth [at Coke]. Our Ventures Unit, under Steve’s direct leadership, will be a key driver.”

The Atlanta-based beverage giant has strategic relationships with Nestle and Procter & Gamble that involve those companies’ coffees, teas, juices and snacks.

Coca-Cola has also expanded its executive committee to include Heyer. He joins Jeff Dunn, president of the Americas Group; Charles Frenette, evp, Europe/Africa; Sandy Allan, president of the Asia Group; Deval Patrick, general counsel-designee; James Chestnut, evp, operations support; Carl Ware, evp, global public affairs and administration; and Daft.

Heyer said in a statement that he plans to “play an active part in invirogating [Coke’s] corporate culture by bringing in a fresh, objective perspective and applying my own experience in key functional areas.”

Prior to his career at TBS, Heyer was president and COO of Young & Rubicam. He has also held executive positions at Booz Allen and Hamilton.