The president and COO of Coca-Cola Co. still feels he has an important role to play at the company in the future, despite being passed over for the top position at the soft drinks giant.

Speaking at a Goldman Sachs conference in New York earlier this week, Steven Heyer said he was "optimistic" that he and incoming chairman and chief executive Neville Isdell will be great partners.

Earlier this month, Coke announced that Isdell will succeed Doug Daft as its chairman and chief executive, ruling Heyer out of the race for the position. Heyer had initially been seen as the favourite to assume the position following Daft's announcement of his intention to retire at the end of this year.