After sixteen years toiling at the Coke-face, Stephen Jones (47) has quit the top marketing job at Coca-Cola “to pursue other interests”, to quote the euphemism beloved of corporate spokesmen.

Chief marketing officer Jones, a protégé of Coca-Cola chairman/ceo Douglas Daft, is credited with the evolution of the company’s new global marketing structure. In the hotseat since January 2000, he discarded the centralized Atlanta-controlled global marketing model in favor of a smaller team that supervised and delegated the creation of ads customized to local markets.

On the downside, however, Jones was also responsible for three major ad campaigns for the beverage behemoth’s flagship brand, the first two of which ran out of gas on the starting-grid.

Coca-Cola, which is famously uncommunicative on such matters, was not prepared to comment on Jones’ abrupt departure, save to confirm that a replacement is sought.

Data sourced from: The Wall Street Journal Online; additional content by WARC staff