Contact: Cassandra Mickens, Coca-Cola UNITED
For Immediate Release
Coca-Cola UNITED Board Elects Mike Suco as Company’s Next President and CEO
Birmingham, Ala. (Jan. 31, 2022) – The Board of Directors of Coca-Cola Bottling Company United, Inc. (UNITED), today elected Michael A. Suco (Mike) as its next president and chief executive officer, effective August 1, 2022.
Suco, who is currently senior vice president and chief commercial officer, will succeed John Sherman, who is retiring at the end of July. Suco will be the eighth president and CEO to lead the company in its 120 years of operation.
“In a career that spans over 26 years in the Coca-Cola System, Mike has been involved in virtually every aspect of our business and has been an integral member of UNITED’s leadership team. His deep understanding of our operating model, his passion for our competitive business and his unwavering commitment to our purpose and values, will serve as a solid foundation for leading our Company,” said Coca-Cola UNITED Board Chairman Claude Nielsen. “Mike’s election by our Board brings invaluable continuity of leadership, strategy, and purpose to UNITED as we organize for growth and execute our strategic plan. I have every confidence that Mike, along with our talented executive leadership team, will take UNITED to ever higher levels of performance and growth for years to come.”
Sherman added, “I’ve seen Mike’s leadership at work for more than two decades – his extensive experience, deep relationships, commitment to our local operating model, which begins and ends in each community and with each customer, and his belief that the secret to our success is indeed the people who make up the Coke UNITED family. I have no doubt Coca-Cola UNITED will be in great hands for the future.”
Sherman, who has been president and CEO since 2016, will continue to lead the company until his retirement on July 31, 2022, after which he will remain on the company’s Board of Directors.
Coca-Cola UNITED, based in Birmingham, Alabama, is the second largest privately held Coca-Cola bottling company in North America and the third largest Coca-Cola bottler in the United States. The company underwent an epic transformation between 2014 and 2017, when it more than tripled in size and scope, revenues, number of customers and employees. Suco played an integral role in that transition, leading the integration of the largest individual market territory, Atlanta.
“I am humbled by the trust our Board has placed in me, and I am honored to succeed John Sherman and those leaders who have come before me,” Suco said. “We have an amazing team, and I believe intensely in our culture of shared leadership and our local operating model. We have many opportunities in front of us for growth and success, and I look forward to carrying on the legacy of service to our associates, customers and communities that has been the foundation of Coca-Cola UNITED for 120 years.”
Suco was named senior vice president and chief commercial officer for Coca-Cola UNITED in March 2021, with responsibility for national retail sales, marketing, on premise, revenue growth management and eCommerce. From 2016 to 2021, he was vice president of the company’s East Region, based in Atlanta, and responsible for sales and distribution within the state of Georgia and more than $1 billion in revenues for Coca-Cola UNITED. During the integration of the Atlanta market unit in 2017, more than 2,000 new associates and 13,000 new customers joined the Coca-Cola UNITED family.
Prior to that Suco was based in Birmingham and served as corporate vice president of operational marketing and commercial leadership, developing and implementing channel, category, and brand strategies for customers and consumers. He joined Coca-Cola UNITED in 2000 and has held numerous management and executive positions during those two decades. Suco began his career with the Coca-Cola System in 1996 as a market development manager for The Coca-Cola Company.
Suco grew up in Jacksonville, Alabama, where his family moved after immigrating from Cuba to the United States in 1962. His grandfather was a professor at Miles College in Birmingham, and his mother was a professor at Jacksonville State University for 43 years.
Suco has a B.S. in Business Administration from Jacksonville State University and began his career with The Ernest and Julio Gallo Winery in 1991. He has a long history of community engagement, both in Birmingham and in Atlanta, including leadership and board affiliations with Oglethorpe University, Fernbank Museum of Natural History, Georgia Beverage Association, Hispanic Business Council, Fiesta Hispanic Cultural Festival, YMCA of Greater Birmingham, The Boy Scouts of America and the Petroleum and Convenience Marketers of Alabama.
Suco and his wife Shelley have two children, Bella and Michael Jr., and reside in Birmingham. He enjoys competing in marathons, triathlons and playing golf.
– Stand UNITED –
About Coca-Cola Bottling Company United, Inc.
Coca-Cola Bottling Company United, Inc., founded in 1902 and headquartered in Birmingham, Alabama, is the second largest privately held Coca-Cola bottler in North America and the third largest bottler of Coca-Cola products in the U.S. Now with its fifth generation of family working in the business, Coca-Cola UNITED has approximately 10,000 associates located in more than 60 facilities across six southeastern states (Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi and Tennessee). Historically significant franchises within our Coca-Cola UNITED family include Chattanooga, the world’s first Coca-Cola bottler; Atlanta, home of the worldwide Coca-Cola System; and Columbus, Georgia, development site of the original Coca-Cola formula. Revenues in 2021 were approximately $3.4 billion.
Coca-Cola UNITED is engaged in the production, marketing and distribution of a diverse portfolio of leading sparkling (Coca-Cola®, Diet Coke®, Coke Zero Sugar®, Dr Pepper®, Sprite®, AHA® and Fanta®) and still (smartwater®, Dasani®, POWERADE®, BODYARMOR®, Fairlife®, Gold Peak®, Monster® and Minute Maid®) non-alcoholic brands under exclusive franchise agreements principally with The Coca-Cola Company® and Keurig Dr Pepper®.
For 120 years, Coca-Cola UNITED has remained true to its foundational core values of Quality, Excellence, Integrity and Respect. Local relationships, personalized customer service and strong community engagement have been the foundation of our business for more than a century. Each year, millions of dollars are invested in our local communities, supporting education, community development, sustainability and nonprofit organizations that empower and impact those in need. For more information, visit cocacolaunited.com.