Coca-Cola Co.'s controversial
marketing chief, Sergio Zyman, is expected to quit his job
shortly, the Wall Street Journal reported Thursday.
An announcement could come as early as Thursday, the Journal
said, citing people close to the company.
Zyman, 52, earned the nickname "Ayacola" because of his
cocky and sometimes abrasive manner at Coke in the early 1980s,
the paper said. In 1993 he returned to Coke to run its massive
marketing machine. Coke spent $1.7 billion on advertising in
Zyman's departure would signal a new marketing approach by
Coca-Cola chairman and chief executive M. Douglas Ivester, who
took over last fall, the paper said.
In 1993, Ivester told Zyman to shake up the company's
advertising and marketing forces, which were seen as lagging
behind PepsiCo. Now, however, he wants to bring stability and
consistency to Coke's global marketing structure, people
familiar with Zyman's impending departure told the Journal.
Ivester is expected to name Charles Frennette to Zyman's
job, the paper said. Frennette, 45, is head of Coke's southern
Africa division and formerly the No. 2 executive for its U.S.
Zyman had wanted to be named president, but probably
realized Ivester would not choose so flamboyant a marketer as
the company's second in command, the paper said.
Zyman has been rumored to be considering a job at Microsoft
Corp. or Nike Inc. the paper said. Others believe he will set up
his own consulting business and continue to counsel Coke.