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ATLANTA - Coca-Cola Co. announced on Thursday that Jeffery T. Dunn, president and chief operating officer of Coke's North American division, is leaving to pursue "entrepreneurial opportunities."
Steven J. Heyer, the Coca-Cola Company president and c.o.o., will assume Dunn's responsibilities immediately, the company said.
The change follows several years of sluggish growth for the soft drink maker in its combined U.S. and Canadian market, where it has faced an economic slowdown and increased competition from PepsiCo. Inc. and other rivals.
Coca-Cola's sales as measured by unit case volume grew 1 percent in North America in the third quarter of 2003, Reuters reports. In comparison, Coke's total worldwide sales grew 4 percent.
"Steve will oversee strategic direction of that unit's operating performance through 2004," Coca-Cola c.e.o. Doug Daft said in memo to employees.
"Our clear objective is to build on the work accomplished this year and deliver a strong 2004 plan."
Dunn had been with the company for 22 years.