US: Former Coca-Cola Co president to quit board

By | 22 February 2013

Keough joined Coca-Cola in 1960

Keough joined Coca-Cola in 1960

The Coca-Cola Co's former president & COO Donald Keough is to retire from the company's board at the age of 86.

Keough, who served as president & COO from 1981 to 1993, will not stand for re-election at Coca-Cola's annual shareholders meeting in April, the company said yesterday (21 February). Former Coca-Cola director James Williams, 79, will also retire from the board at the meeting, Coca-Cola said.

Keough joined Coca-Cola in 1960 when it acquired the company he worked for, Butter-Nut Coffee. During his tenure, Keough helped steer Coca-Cola through the “cola wars” of the 1980s, when soft drinks companies increased marketing spend in a fight for market share. Keough also served as head of The Coca-Cola Foods Division from 1971 to 1973.

Coca-Cola CEO Muhtar Kent said: “Many of our current Coca-Cola leaders learned this business under Don, and I have personally benefited from his guidance, mentorship and friendship for more than 30 years.”

Earlier this month, Coca-Cola posted a strong set of full-year results despite continuing problems in Europe.

Expert analysis

Coca-Cola Co, The in Soft Drinks (World )

The Coca-Cola Company, the world’s leading soft drinks company, has a stated aim to double its size over the 2010 to 2020 decade. However, with US sales on the decline and regular carbonates losing their appeal, the company needs growth to come in the BRIC countries and in low calorie drinks. In this report, Euromonitor International assesses The Coca-Cola Company’s chances of succeeding in its quest for growth.

Sectors: HR – personnel, Soft drinks

Companies: Coca-Cola Co

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