Coca-Cola is bringing back the role of global CMO in 2020, almost three years after dissolving the title in the wake of a restructuring.
Francisco Crespo, who’s held the position of chief growth officer since the position was created in May 2017, is retiring at the beginning of the new year. Crespo, 54, will stay on in an advisory role through June 30, 2020.
Crespo’s responsibilities as CGO will be split among three new roles: Manuel Arroyo will oversee integrated global marketing as global CMO; John Murphy will oversee corporate strategy as CFO; and Brian Smith will take over customer and commercial operations as COO.
As CGO, Crespo helped to “develop a growth strategy that has become thoroughly embedded in our operations and our culture,” said James Quincey, chairman and CEO of Coca-Cola, in a statement. “He leaves an important legacy of helping make us more focused on fast-changing consumer needs at a critical time.”
Arroyo will continue to serve as president of the Asia Pacific group in addition to his new role.
“We know consumer needs are changing faster and faster, and it is critical for the company to be agile in how it responds and adapts,” Quincey said in a statement. This is a “new structure” that he anticipates “will evolve in the months ahead.”
The company’s statement also said that with the growth strategy “firmly in place,” the role of CGO is no longer necessary. The decision to return to a structure that includes a global CMO rather than a CGO bucks the trend du jour, which continues to see the global CMO role diminishing.
In an October report, market research company Forrester predicted the trend would continue in 2020. The role of CMO will undergo a “desperate fight for survival” in 2020, requiring CMOs to “establish a span of control in the name of customer value.”
Bernhard Goepelt, svp and general counsel at Coca-Cola, will also retire in 2020. Coca-Cola has not yet named a successor.