October 13, 2007/The Dallas Morning News (Texas) -- The Plano, Texas-based maker of Dr Pepper and 7UP moved quickly this week to reconfigure its top management, announcing promotions from within as it prepares for life as a stand-alone, publicly traded company.

Company veteran Rodger Collins was named president-sales of the Cadbury Schweppes Bottling Group, a division of the soon-to-be independent Cadbury Schweppes Americas Beverages.

Cadbury Schweppes PLC, the London-based parent, said Wednesday that it would spin off the beverage unit next year. It had sought a buyer but said private equity funds interested in acquiring the unit were unable to secure financing.

Collins will have responsibility for "profitable growth in our bottling operations across the U.S.," Larry Young, the unit's new president and chief executive, said in a memo to staffers late Thursday.

Young, was promoted Wednesday from the position now filled by Collins.

Americas Beverages' previous chief executive, Gil Cassagne, resigned.

Collins had been Midwest division president and a regional vice president of the bottling group prior to that. Six other promotions or job enhancements were also announced Thursday.

Cassagne's resignation marked the first of an expected 470 staff departures at the beverage unit. The egress continued Thursday.

Jack Belsito, president of Snapple Distributors Inc., Joe Bayern, executive vice president­strategy for Americas Beverages, and Charles Alfaro, vice president-corporate communications for Americas Beverages, are leaving the company, Young said in his memo.

"We have a lot of changes happening now," he continued in the memo, which was obtained by The Dallas Morning News. "I know it's a lot to absorb; I also know that there has never been a more important time to focus on delivering results for the balance of year. That is the focus you can expect from me and the executive team, and that's what I expect of all of you."

From the October 22, 2007, Prepared Foods e-Flash