Coca-Cola finance chief Fayard to retire

Longtime Coca-Cola Chief Financial Officer Gary Fayard will retire from the company in May.

He will be replaced as CFO by Kathy Waller, vice president of finance and controller, Coke said Thursday. Waller, 55, joined the company in 1987 as an accountant.

The news is the latest in a string of changes at the Atlanta beverage giant, which is trying to both stem the sales slide in North America of carbonated sodas while finding new drinks to boost revenue.

Last year, the company reshuffled its management team, which saw the departure of Steve Cahillane, head of Coca-Cola North America, the company’s flagship market. Coca-Cola also announced last March lay offs of about 750 U.S. workers in an effort to streamline operations three years after absorbing thousands of employees from the purchase of its largest bottler, Coca-Cola Enterprises.

Coca-Cola also said Tuesday it will make more changes to save $1 billion, much of which will be used in marketing over the next two years.

Fayard, 62, joined Coke in 1994 as vice president and controller, the company said. He was promoted in 1999 to senior vice president and CFO and elevated to CFO and executive vice president in 2003. Coca-Cola more than doubled its revenue to $47 billion in 2013 under his tenure and acquired Coca-Cola Enterprises’ North America business — the company’s largest-ever acquisition.

Coca-Cola also announced Thursday that board members Donald F. McHenry and Jacob Wallenberg will not seek re-election at the company’s annual meeting in April.

McHenry, 77, served as ambassador to the United Nations from 1979 to 1981. He has been on Coke’s board since 1981. Wallenberg, 58, is chairman of a Swedish industrial holding company has been on the board six years.

In addition, Coca-Cola said Thursday it will boost dividends from 28 cents to 30.5 cents per common share, a 9 percent jump. The first quarterly dividend is payable April 1 to shareowners of record as of March 14.

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