- The Coca-Cola Company announced Thursday the internal restructuring of a number of senior leadership appointments, including elevating the CIO to become a direct report to the CEO.
- Barry Simpson, VP and CIO at Coca-Cola, reporting directly to incoming CEO James Quincey will "increase visibility and focus on efforts to digitize all aspects of the company’s business," according to a Coca-Cola announcement.
- Meanwhile, Robert Long, currently vice president of research and development, will become a direct report to the CEO as the company’s first chief innovation officer, which will help the company grow its consumer-centric brand portfolio.
Coke’s reshuffling is a perfect demonstration of how important tech has become to businesses. Incoming CEO Quincey already has a strategic eye for using tech to increase innovation and enable future growth at the 131-year-old company.
A CIO reporting directly to the CEO demonstrates how it is more common for tech leaders to have a seat at the table. IT organizations have a growing responsibility for driving bottom line improvements while also helping create leaner, more agile corporate organizations.
With technology across ever line of the business, it is up to CIOs to lead by influence and help create a technology backbone for an organization that can support new technologies and businesses' increased scale.