The Coca-Cola Company is increasing the responsibilities of its chief information officer as part of a shuffle of C-suite officials. Beginning Jan. 1, 2019, Barry Simpson, senior vice president and CIO, will add Enabling Services organization responsibilities to his role, becoming Coca-Cola's SVP and chief information and integrated services officer, the company announced last week.
Coca-Cola's enabling services division is responsible for technical and integrated services governance. Simpson will take over for the group's current president, Kathy Waller, who also serves as executive vice president and CFO, is set to retire in 2019. John Murphy will take over as EVP and CFO in March, 2019.
The company also appointed Nancy Quan to become SVP and chief technical officer. With the company for 11 years, Quan previously served as the CTO of Coca-Cola North America.
As consumer demand for sugary beverages has lagged, soda manufacturers are turning to new avenues to stoke interest and maintain brand engagement. While Coca-Cola is finding success in brands like Diet Coke, the beverage company is also turning toward a digital future.
Looking for a bump from the e-commerce craze, Coca-Cola is experimenting with online business, from meal kits to voice ordering, Food Dive reports.
Underlying it all is a robust technical infrastructure that keeps up with supply chain demands and gets ahead of the digital curve. In recent years, Coca-Cola has invested in technology, giving more power to the CIO.
The beverage company appointed Simpson as CIO in November 2016. Then in March 2017, as part of a C-suite shuffle, Simpson began reporting to new CEO James Quincey. The tweaked reporting structure was to increase "visibility and focus" on wrapping digital technologies into all aspects of the company.
With the CEO's ear, and more control over enabling services, Simpson is up against few leadership roadblocks to transform Coca-Cola. In other organizations, CIOs have to fight for technology's place, often thought of as a cost center.
But successful CIOs are becoming more product-oriented, focusing on renovating culture and technical aptitude to transform businesses. Keeping up with and anticipating digital trends, CIOs can help a business remain competitive in an era defined by change.