By Everdeen Mason
Coca-Cola Co. (KO) said Thursday that its long-serving chief financial officer, Gary P. Fayard, will retire this year and outlined plans to raise its quarterly dividend by 9%.
The company separately said two board members won't stand for reelection in April.
The moves come just days after Coca-Cola reported its soda business stalled in the fourth quarter and suggested weaker foreign currencies could hurt its profits in the new year.
Coca-Cola said Mr. Fayard will retire in May and named Kathy N. Waller as his successor.
Mr. Fayard, 62 years old, has worked in various executive roles since joining Coca-Cola in 1994, including as finance chief since 2003. Ms. Waller, 55, has performed several financial leadership roles since joining the company in 1987, most recently as vice president of finance and controller.
Meanwhile, the dividend increase brings the company's quarterly payout to 30.5 cents a share, up 2.5 cents and the annual yield to about 3.3%. It should cost Coke about an additional $112 million a quarter.
Additionally, the company also said two board members--Donald F. McHenry and Jacob Wallenberg--wouldn't stand for re-election at the company's annual meeting in April.
Mr. McHenry, 77 years old, is a former U.N. ambassador and staffer in the administration of Jimmy Carter. He has served on the Coke board since 1981.
Mr. Wallenberg, 58, is the chairman of Investor AB, a Swedish industrial holding company. He's been a Coke board member since 2008.
The Atlanta-based beverage giant--whose brands include Minute Maid Juice, Dasani Water and its namesake cola--reported Tuesday that its fourth-quarter revenue fell 2.6% while its net income fell 8.4%. Coke also said its beverage volume rose only 1% in the fourth quarter and 2% for the full year, below the long-term target of 3% to 4% growth.
Carbonated soft drinks are the biggest drag, particularly in the U.S., where industry volumes have fallen for nine years in a row and declines are accelerating. Worsening matters, sales have slowed in key growth markets like China and Brazil as more consumers turn to still beverages. While Coke has diversified into everything from sports drinks to coconut water, soda still represents 75% of its global volume.
The company's shares were up 23 cents at $37.32 in recent trading. The stock is down 6.8% in the past 12 months.
-Michael Calia contributed to this article.
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