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Coca-Cola To Split Business Into Two Units

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MIAMI, FL - DECEMBER 09: Diet Coke stis on a store self on December 9, 2013 in Miami, Florida. According to reports, sales of diet sodas dropped 6.8 percent through November 23, 2013, making the contraction in sales of diet soda more than regular soda for three straight years. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images) | Joe Raedle via Getty Images

Dec 12 (Reuters) - Coca-Cola Co 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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