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Featured Facilitator

William (Bill) L. Schermerhorn

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William (Bill) L. Schermerhorn is a former senior officer of The Coca-Cola Company, respected industry-wide as a visionary, turn-around expert and proven developer of brands and the people behind them. While he cut his teeth in marketing consumer non-durable products at General Foods, Post Division and Dr. Pepper Company, he made his indelible mark at Coca-Cola, with more than 30 years of executive-level domestic and international experience in innovative marketing and general management. He is a formidable leader among Coca-Cola’s renowned ‘best and the brightest,’ who creates a vision, sells constituents on that vision and manages teams to attain the respective business objectives through performance management. Throughout his stellar performance-driven career in executive positions in Atlanta, Georgia, Johanesburg, South Africa and Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, Schermerhorn was responsible for a myriad of portfolios, from strategic planning to brand marketing, marketing research, marketing operations management, and operating general management.

At The Coca-Cola Company, Schermerhorn maintained a solid record of growth by building brands and implementing new business strategies. As Chief Operating Officer of Coca-Cola’s Africa/Middle East Group, he turned around a business that consistently realized margin growth on volume and profit measures. In this capacity, he laid out an aggressive plan to double the business every five years and put in place the program to deliver on that vision. This included eliminating African government ownership of bottling operations in many countries and creating the first anchor bottler for the continent. His consolidation of the Coca-Cola distribution system reduced bottler operations by 60 percent and his rationalization of the group’s operating division saved $15 million annually, resulting in double-digit volume and profit growth.

Schermerhorn previously led the marketing operations group for the largest division of The Coca-Cola Company, Coca-Cola USA (CCUSA.) As Vice President of Marketing Operations, he grew share and achieved aggressive volume and profit plans on all brands and developed volume-based marketing strategies to integrate into daily business practices. Schermerhorn led the way on such projects as Coca-Cola’s 20-oz. Contour package, the first proprietary package produced in North America in more than a decade. The package generated share gains in the high-margin, single-drink channels with growth rates ranging from +10 to 20 percent. Schermerhorn streamlined processes in the sales and consumer promotion groups to make promotion efforts more efficient and effective, including for the highly successful NFL “Monsters of the Gridiron” supermarket promotion, which had a volume impact of +10 percent.

Schermerhorn began his distinguished career at Coca-Cola USA as Group Brand Director in charge of the $600-million Coca-Cola business. He was promoted to Worldwide Group Brand Director, where he developed global strategies that would drive the company’s growth, then vice president and executive assistant to the President of CCUSA, where he coordinated and developed the vision and strategic plan for the North American Division. He represented the company president on major CCUSA steering committees and was his overall business strategist.
A graduate of the University of South Dakota with baccalaureate and business degrees, Schermerhorn is married and lives in Savannah, Georgia.

Executive Positions

  • Chief Operating Officer, The Africa Group The Coca-Cola Company

  • Sr. Vice President, Strategic Planning Coca-Cola

  • Vice President, Marketing Services Coca-Cola USA

  • Worldwide Brand Director, The Coca-Cola Company
  • Group Brand Director Colas, – Coca-Cola USA
 

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