Coca-Cola's comms and corporate affairs chief to join engineering firm

Coca-Cola Great Britain's director of public affairs, communications and sustainability Joel Morris is leaving the soft drinks giant after 12 years.

Joel Morris has helped Coca-Cola navigate a turbulent period for soft drink companies
Joel Morris has helped Coca-Cola navigate a turbulent period for soft drink companies

Morris is joining engineering and construction company Laing O’Rourke as head of corporate affairs for Europe in January, where he will be responsible for all aspects of corporate affairs in the region, which includes its projects in the Middle East.

Coca-Cola said it is in the middle of a recruitment process to find a replacement.

Morris joined Coca-Cola in 2007 as director of communications for Europe and was promoted to his current role in 2011.

He led the corporate affairs function through a period of "intense media scrutiny" and regulatory change. 

During his tenure, the UK became the first country where Coca-Cola made a public commitment to calorie reduction, placing traffic light nutrient labels on all of its packs and shifting more of its marketing investment into its no-sugar options. 

He also played a role in helping the company manage the implementation of the soft drinks tax and in its decision to support the introduction of a deposit return scheme to increase the collection and recycling of drinks packaging.

Prior to Coca-Cola, Morris was director of media relations at pharma behemoth Pfizer and earlier in his career worked agency-side at Harvard Public Relations. 

"It’s been a pleasure to lead Coke’s corporate affairs function through a fascinating period for the business during which we have made many positive changes," Morris said. 

"But it was time for a change and I am excited to be joining Laing O’Rourke and can’t wait to meet the new team and get started. It’s a company full of highly skilled people with the expertise to build pioneering, world-class buildings and infrastructure projects that deliver huge societal benefit."

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