Coca-Cola has made moves to clarify the situation surrounding the resignation of its general counsel. Deval L. Patrick announced earlier this week that he is to leave the company.

Coke chairman and chief executive Douglas Daft said yesterday in a memorandum to employees that Patrick will remain in the position until the end of the year. "I want to personally reaffirm that Deval has my and the board's confidence and support in the professional and effective manner in which he and his legal team have conducted our legal affairs," Daft said.

Speculation spread following Patrick's resignation earlier this week that Coke's senior management was in disarray. The memorandum from Daft did not elaborate on why Patrick, Coke's highest-ranking black executive, would leave the company, however.