December 13, 2013 / 1:22 AM / 6 years ago

Coke to split North American business into two

Cases of Coca-Cola are shown for sale in Encinitas, California October 10, 2013. REUTERS/Mike Blake

(Reuters) - Coca-Cola Co (KO.N) said it would divide its North American business into two units, as part of its plan to return to a franchise model instead of owning bottlers.

The company said the division will result in two operating units - Coca-Cola North America and Coca-Cola Refreshments.

The world’s largest soda company said the Coca-Cola North America division will be led by J. A. M. Douglas. He will continue in his role as global chief customer officer.

Paul Mulligan will lead Coca-Cola Refreshments, the bottling division of the business, the company said. He is currently the head of Commercial for Bottling Investments Group (BIG) and Region Director responsible for Japan and Latin America BIG operations.

Coke said in April it would return toward a franchise model in the United States, where independent companies will deliver the drinks to local stores.

Reporting by Devika Krishna Kumar

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