Another executive has resigned at Coca-Cola Co. Deval Patrick, the company's general counsel and highest-ranking black executive, announced his resignation over the Easter weekend, after three years of dealing with high-profile lawsuits and two current federal investigations.

Patrick, who was hired by Coke in early-2001, will be replaced temporarily by chief deputy counsel Geoff Kelly. He will continue to be available to the company until the end of the year to ensure a smooth transition.

In an internal memo, retiring chairman and CEO Doug Daft said that Coke was grateful for Patrick's "wisdom and guidance."

Before taking employment with Coca-Cola, Patrick had worked as general counsel at Texaco and was assistant attorney general of the Justice Department's civil rights division between 1994 and 1997.

The resignation is the latest in a series of moves among Coke's top executives. Several have left the company recently, while Coke is also looking for a replacement chairman and CEO. Daft is due to retire at the end of the year.