by Meet the boss

How the CIO made Coca Cola green

Mar 10, 2010
IT LeadershipIT StrategyMobile Apps

The week that Coca Cola’s staff are sporting uniforms made from recycled bottles at the Vancouver 2010 Olympics, Esat Sezer, CIO of Coca Cola Enterprises, explains how going green is more than just a corporate responsibility. Esat Sezer is the current SVP and CIO with Coca Cola Enterprises, the bottling and distribution arm of the company that runs the vending machines in your office. Sezer has been working Coca Cola Enterprises since 2006. The challenge with green IT, is  that there is a lot of spin and hype that a CIO needs to turn into an effective strategy for corporate growth and budget efficiency. “I think we could use green IT as an opportunity to reform, especially in companies like Coca-Cola Enterprises, where corporate responsibility and sustainability is an integral part of the operating framework.” This allows for upgrading and implementing concepts like virtualization and datacentre consolidations that help to reduce the carbon footprint. Not only is the efficiency seen through implementing upgrades through the hype around green IT, but Sezer delivers efficiency when transitioning over 70,000 mobile employees to SaaS in under six months time. There are a number of factors like communication collaboration partnerships and infrastructure partnerships that need to come into play to integrate so many employees, but for Sezer the challenge was bringing it all together “with the speed and pace that we achieved which was really what created the wow factor for me”. To juggle this type of efficiency and transition Sezer has to balance cost reduction and the need for innovation. For Sezer it is “all about the things that can create resources for you to invest back into your maintenance or business space to invest back into your growth related initiative.” There still needs to be “funding of growth related initiatives that should be shared within business and IT.”

Sezer joined Coca Cola Enterprises in October 2006 as senior vice president and CIO. Born and educated in Istanbul, Turkey, the CIO has considerable experience of SAP enterprise resource planning implementations and joined Coke from white goods manufacturer Whirlpool. As CIO Sezer reports directly to the Coca Cola Enterprises CEO.

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