Coca-Cola has unveiled a new operating structure in a move being closely watched for clues to the company’s future leadership.

The soft drinks giant is consolidating its regional businesses into three arms – Americas, International and the Bottling Investment Group (BIG), handing expanded roles to two senior executives.

The new Americas arm includes the US, Canada and Latin America businesses. It will be led by Steve Cahillane, current boss of Coca-Cola Refreshments.

Coca-Cola International will comprise the European, Pacific, Asian and African businesses. It will be led by current Eurasia and Africa chief Ahmet Bozer.

Irial Finan will continue at the helm of the BIG, comprising Coke’s bottling operations outside the Americas.

Analysts said the moves established Cahillane and Bozer as candidates in the long term to succeed chief executive Muhtar Kent.

“Over the past couple of years, we have systematically been adapting our business model to better address the changing demands of the global marketplace,” said Kent.

“Now is the time to take the next step in our evolution. By consolidating leadership of our global operations… we will streamline reporting lines, intensify our focus on key markets and create a structure that gives us flexibility to strategically adjust our business in the future.”

In a move related to the company’s restructuring, up to 90 jobs are now danger threat at the company’s bottling plant at Knockmore in County Antrim.

“We will be using a third-party distribution company [in future] and hope that some employees may transfer to that company,” a spokesman said.