John Sherman, CEO for Coca-Cola UNITED

Coca-Cola Bottling Company UNITED Announces Senior Leadership Succession Plan





John Sherman, Claude Nielsen, Executive, Leadership, CEO, Alabama News Center, Mike Tomberlin
Coca-Cola Bottling Company UNITED, Inc. (L-R) : Claude B. Nielsen, Chairman of the Board and John H. Sherman, Chief Executive Officer – Photo compliments of Alabama News Center, Mike Tomberlin


BIRMINGHAM, ALABAMA – April 26, 2016 – Effective on this date, The Board of Directors of Coca-Cola Bottling Company UNITED, Inc., (“Coca-Cola UNITED”), headquartered in Birmingham, Alabama, elected John H. Sherman as President and Chief Executive Officer to succeed Claude B. Nielsen who will continue to serve as Chairman of the Board of Directors.

In the summer of 1975, John entered the Coca-Cola business as a route helper at Augusta Coca-Cola Bottling Company, a division of Coca-Cola UNITED. In 1977, he officially began his career in the Coca-Cola System as a part-time clerk in the Route Accounting Department of The Atlanta Coca-Cola Bottling Company while enrolled at Georgia Tech. After graduating from Georgia Tech he joined Coca-Cola Enterprises (“CCE”), rising to the position of Region Manager with responsibility for CCE’s Alabama and South Georgia franchises. In 1990, John joined Coca-Cola Bottling Company UNITED, serving as Director of Marketing in our East Region. Prior to his election by the Board of Directors for Coca-Cola UNITED in April of this year, John most recently served as Senior Vice President and Chief Commercial Officer of Coca-Cola UNITED.

In 2013, The Coca-Cola Company announced the commencement of the 21st Century Beverage Partnership model. This model refranchised territories to select Coca-Cola bottlers to strengthen and build a more agile, customer-focused franchise business partnership in the United States. As one of five participating Coca-Cola bottlers, Coca-Cola UNITED engaged in the strategic planning and implementation of acquiring multiple franchise territories, integrating systems and processes, and transitioning customers and employees. Beginning in March of 2014 and concluding in April of 2016, in his role as Senior Vice President and Chief Commercial Officer, John’s leadership contributed to Coca-Cola UNITED’s successful acquisition of eighteen Coca-Cola franchise territories in five southeastern states; to include, the seamless transition of over 36,000 customers into UNITED’s local operating business model and 2,800 Coca-Cola associates into the Coca-Cola UNITED family.

In addition to his leadership responsibilities in Coca-Cola UNITED, John serves in multiple Coca-Cola System (“System”) leadership and governance positions that are essential components of the future System architecture. He served as President of the Alabama Soft Drink Association (now Alabama Beverage Association) for an unprecedented two consecutive terms, from 1999 to 2005, and has served on their Executive Committee since 1993. In 2005, John received the Alabama Beverage Association’s 30th Distinguished Service Award – the highest honor bestowed by the soft drink industry in Alabama. John currently serves on the Board of Advisors of the Brock School of Business at Samford University. He also serves on the Board of Directors of the Dr Pepper Bottlers Association and the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame.

“Over the past 38 years, John has been involved in virtually every aspect of our business,” said Claude Nielsen, Chairman of the Board of Directors for Coca-Cola UNITED. “His field experience with UNITED, deep understanding of our local operating business model and passion for our competitive business are paramount in growing our business and cultivating strong and enduring relationships. These, in conjunction with John’s unwavering commitment to our Purpose and Values, serve as a solid foundation for leading Coca-Cola UNITED.” With respect to UNITED’s expansion and leadership transition, Claude adds, “I have never been more optimistic and excited about the future of our Company and the entire Coca-Cola System.”


CLICK NOW READ THE ARTICLE:  Alabama News Center reporter, Mike Tomberlin, met with John and Claude  capturing  the exciting changes in Coca-Cola UNITED and the Coca-Cola System.  


Video compliments of Alabama News Center, Reporter Mike Tomberlin


About Coca-Cola Bottling Company UNITED, Inc.
Coca-Cola Bottling Company UNITED, Inc., founded in 1902 and headquartered in Birmingham, Alabama, is the third largest bottler of Coca-Cola products in the United States and the second largest privately held Coca-Cola bottler employing more than 5,700 employees. Coca-Cola UNITED currently refreshes customers, consumers and communities in 35 territories across 7 southeastern states with sparkling and still brands for every occasion. Engaged principally in the production, marketing and distribution of Coca-Cola, Diet Coke, Coke Zero, Sprite, Fanta, Dasani water, POWERADE, vitaminwater and many more under exclusive franchise agreements with The Coca-Cola Company and other soft drink manufacturers.

With an enduring commitment to building sustainable communities, Coca-Cola UNITED is focused on initiatives that reduce our environmental footprint, support active, healthy living, create a safe, inclusive work environment for our associates, and enhance the economic development of the communities where we live and work. For more information, visit us at