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Australia: Coca-Cola Amatil MD leaves

Barry O’Connell

Barry O’Connell, the Managing Director of Coca-Cola Amatil’s Australian beverages unit, is leaving the company, continuing the leadership overhaul that followed a near 40% drop in full-year profit.

O’Connell is returning to Europe after four years with the group and more than 20 years at various Coca-Cola businesses.

He took charge of the beverage supplier’s Australian operations in July 2014 after running the group’s New Zealand business.

But earnings generated by Coca-Cola Amatil’s Australian beverages business fell by 1.8% to $455.3 million in 2016 as some consumers turn away from sugary drinks and competition continues in the bottled water category. Sales of cola drinks by volume were lower, but the company was confident that the category would stabilise.

“Over the last three years, Barry has built a strong foundation for our Australian Beverages business through his leadership of our transformation program and focus on rebalancing our portfolio to deliver a sustainable business for tomorrow,” Coca-Cola Amatil Group Managing Director Alison Watkins said.

A member of the group’s Australian beverages executive team, Peter McLoughlin, will take over from O’Connell until a permanent successor is found.