A director at The Coca-Cola Company is to stand down. Maria Elena (Mel) Lagomasino, who was recently named chief executive officer of an affiliate of SunTrust Banks, informed the company yesterday (30 November) that she will be unable to stand for reelection to its board of directors.

Lagomasino's decision follows her new employer's request that she not serve as a director of the company having taken an executive position with Asset Management Advisors, a SunTrust affiliate, Coke said.

"It is with the greatest regret that I have taken this action, which I believe appropriate, as a result of my new leadership position at Asset Management Advisors," Lagomasino said. "I firmly believe that The Coca-Cola Company is on the right course to build future success, and I wish Neville Isdell and his executive team well as they continue to drive forward the company's strategy."

Neville Isdell, Coke's chairman and chief executive officer, added: "We are extremely grateful to Mel for her service to our company. We have certainly benefited from her wise counsel and perspectives, and we will miss her positive impact on our company. We wish Mel much success in the next stage of her career; she will always have many supporters here at Coca-Cola."

Lagomasino has served as a director of Coke since February 2003. Her term will expire at the company's annual meeting on 19 April next year.