Heyer Ascends at Coke

NEW YORK–The Coca-Cola Co. has promoted Steve Heyer to president and chief operating officer, effective immediately, the company said. Heyer, who joined the Atlanta beverage giant 18 months ago from Turner Broadcasting, had been president and COO of Coca-Cola Ventures and Coca-Cola Latin America.

He continues to report to Coke chairman and CEO Doug Daft, who said in a statement, “I have asked Steve Heyer to serve as president and chief operating officer of The Coca-Cola Company and the Board has endorsed my recommendation.”

Many believe the move positions Heyer as Daft’s heir apparent. Coke declined comment.

Heyer, who has been the key decision maker on advertising for brand Coke, diet Coke and Sprite, will continue with those responsibilities.

Daft’s statement continued, “With Steve closely collaborating with his colleagues on the senior management team, I expect highly effective leadership that will accelerate the progress we are making toward strengthening our long-term position in the marketplace.”

Heyer said that the company’s long-term success depends on its ability to “build strong relationships and grow together with our communities, consumers and partners… I intend to do everything I can to nurture and strengthen the brand.”