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Coca Cola India appoints John Ustas as CEO of bottling operations

MUMBAI: Coca Cola India has appointed John Ustas as the CEO of the company's bottling operations with effect from 1 July.

This move has been made to help develop the company-owned organisations that will drive profitable growth, particularly in highly strategic and rapidly developing markets like India.

 

Ustas most recently served as managing director of Coca-Cola Drikker AS, the Norway bottling operations, where he led the creation of a strong, profitable bottler.

He has more than 23 years of experience in the beverage industry in the US and Europe and has a B.S. in finance from Northeastern University, an MBA from Pace University.

 

 

Ustas will work closely with the Coca-Cola India team and will report directly to Steve Buffington, regional director of Latin America and Asia for Bottling Investments.

"This move will help strengthen our management team in India and appropriately position us to capture a new level of success in one of our most important long-term growth markets," a company statement said.

 

 

Vipul Saurabh, who is the current head of the company's bottling operations in India, will work closely with Ustas over the next several months to ensure a smooth and successful transition.

Following this transition Saurabh will move to a challenging developmental role within our international bottling system, details of which will be announced at a later date.

Coca-Cola India is also on the lookout for a new chief financial officer (CFO). A company release informed that the changes to strengthen its finance team had been announced internally a month ago, when the present CFO Mark Roddy finished his tenure, who will move out in September. His replacement will be announced from Coca-Cola's Atlanta headquarters.

The changes in the finance team will see Coca Cola India vice president finance - bottling operations Sanjeev Kumar moving to Atlanta, who will be executive assistant to Coke's bottling investments president Irial Finan. Also, Coca Cola Zurich director finance Ravi Prakash has been brought back to the India operations.

Gaurav Duggal and Sunil Gupta have been promoted to deputy chief financial officers for the bottling operations.

"The company is fully Sarbanes-Oxley compliant, confirmed both by internal and external auditors as 31 December, 2004. The company regularly conducts internal audits of its operations, including financial and environmental audits," the statement said.

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