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Coca-Cola President Stahl Steps Down in Restructuring
By Justin Bachman   Associated Press
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ATLANTA — Coca-Cola President Jack Stahl resigned Sunday as the beverage giant announced a reorganization of its management structure.

The change creates four business units — Americas, Asia, Europe/Africa and New Business Ventures — with the head of each reporting directly to Coke chairman and chief executive Douglas Daft.

The new structure eliminates the president position.

Stahl, 47, was not fired, Coke spokesman Rob Baskin said. Rather, he decided it was time to pursue other career opportunities, considering the company well on its path to financial recovery after several tough years.

"Jack Stahl and I held a lengthy discussion about the exciting potential of this new model," Daft said in a statement. "Jack concluded that, having helped the Coca-Cola Co. reset its agenda and priorities, he wanted to seek new leadership challenges elsewhere."

The company named Jeffrey T. Dunn, currently the president of Coca-Cola North America, to serve as Americas chief. A.R.C. "Sandy" Allan will continue as Asia head and Charles S. Frenette, the chief of Coke's Europe operation, will add Africa to his duties.

The company said it will shortly name a leader of its new division, New Business Ventures. The effort, which Daft has discussed in less formal terms since he became Coke's leader, is designed to promote a spirit of entrepreneurship and innovation throughout the company.

Stahl earned $2 million last year and options to buy 500,000 Coke shares.

Stahl began his Coke career in 1981 in the finance department, working in various positions including executive assistant to the chief financial officer. He served as president of Coca-Cola USA from 1994 to 1999.

The tough years that Coke has endured recently included a health scare and subsequent recall in Europe, a falling stock price and a racial discrimination suit, which the company settled last year for $192.5 million — the largest settlement ever in a racial discrimination case.

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