Coca-Cola Co. (NYSE:KO) CEO and Chairman James Quincey indicated that the beverage company should be flexible in the wake of uncertainties due to COVID-19. Quincey said that the company is seeing some great growth opportunities and that almost all Costa stores have reopened.
COVID-19 causing uncertainties
In an interview with Bloomberg’s Guy Johnson and Alix Steel, Quincey said that the company wants to move faster, clear in its restructuring processes. He said that the company wants to move cannot be measured in months or weeks because of the uncertainties caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. The speed should be about the company’s ability to adapt and be flexible with the changing environment.
According to Quincey, the company demonstrated adaptability in Q2, which was negative but managed to do better by June compared to April. Coca-Cola got better in the third quarter, and the focus is maintaining the flexibility to adapt to uncertainty going forward.
The company had suspended its guidance due to the pandemic, and one of the non-normal factors that affected it is the level of lockdown. Quincey said that with reopening and the possibility of having a vaccine for the virus, they have begun seeing visibility in business trends. The company is planning to look at the 2020 guidance when it does its Q4 call.
Coca-Cola cutting products and employees as part of the reorganization
Regarding the products that the company cut that has not been selling, the CEO said they needed to focus on the supply chain, which meant stopping manufacturing them. However, in normal circumstances, you will be looking at recapturing shelf space for new or existing products in retailers or the supply chain.
The company launched a voluntary redundancy scheme that began in the US, but in other places like Europe, consultation is still going on. Voluntary redundancy is part of the company reorganizing and setting up for success going forward. Coca-Cola expects to complete the design by the end of 2020, but they cannot give an exact shape employee shape for now.