The FINANCIAL -- The Board of Directors of The Coca-Cola Company on February 18 approved the Company's 54th consecutive annual dividend increase, raising the quarterly dividend 6 percent from 33 cents to 35 cents per common share. This is equivalent to an annual dividend of $1.40 per share, up from $1.32 per share in 2015. The first quarterly dividend is payable April 1, 2016, to shareowners of record as of March 15, 2016.
The increase reflects the Board's confidence in the Company's long-term cash flow. The Coca-Cola Company returned $5.7 billion in dividends to shareowners in 2015, bringing the total amount to $29 billion given back to shareowners through dividends since Jan. 1, 2010, according to Coca-Cola.
The Board today also elected Brent Hastie, Craig Williams and Julie Hamilton as Senior Vice Presidents of the Company, effective immediately.
Brent Hastie is Vice President, Strategy & Planning. In this role, he is responsible for driving the Company's global strategic planning and helping develop new avenues for revenue growth, while also leading opportunities to improve productivity and efficiency. Hastie first joined The Coca-Cola Company in 2006 where he held numerous leadership assignments including Chief Strategy Officer for Coca-Cola Refreshments, President, Active Lifestyle Brands, Vice President, Commercial Leadership Still Beverages, and Vice President, Strategy and Planning, all for the North America Group.
Prior to joining The Coca-Cola Company, Hastie was a Principal with McKinsey & Company working in Atlanta, Brazil and South Africa. He also served as an Executive Vice President at Bain Capital, in the Private Equity group.
Craig Williams is President of the McDonald's Division. He leads a global organization that is responsible for building the strategic alliance with McDonald's in over 35,000 restaurants in more than 100 countries. Prior to this, Williams was the Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer for the McDonald's Division and led its five global business units, fostering the Company's strategic partnerships and building business development plans with the Company's customer of 60-plus years. He joined the Company in 2005, and has since held positions of increasing responsibility within the McDonald's Division, which included the role of Vice President, United States, as well as Assistant Vice President, U.S. Marketing.
Before joining The Coca-Cola Company, Williams spent three years as a global marketing leader with CIBA Vision Corporation and seven years with Kraft Foods Inc., working in brand management and new product development. He also spent five years in the U.S. Navy as a Naval Nuclear Power Officer.
Julie Hamilton serves as the Company's Global Chief Customer and Commercial Leadership Officer. In this role she supports the Company's global customer partners and builds commercial strategies and customer capabilities across the global system. Prior to this role, she was Executive Assistant to the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of The Coca-Cola Company.
Hamilton joined The Coca-Cola Company in 1996 and has held a variety of sales, marketing and operational positions including Group Vice President North America Walmart Team, Vice President, Global Customer Development, Group Director for Global On-Premise Customers, Director of Marketing in the North America Retail Division, Group Manager of Strategic Partnership Marketing and Brand Development Manager for Still Beverages.