Tuesday, April 13, 2021

Coca-Cola CEO: Voting Rights Advocate?

We are a Georgia-based company. This is definitely our starting point. I don’t think we have brothels to understand every nuance in every other state. I think there will be energy directed at the federal level. If you go back historically, federal oversight of changing voting procedures in states is an important process to ensure that things move forward, not backward.

Is the way you are entangling companies on the issue of voting rights and how they relate to other issues, is it a double standard between the LGBT bill or climate change, or immigration?

It is not that the corporate community was not involved. We were probably not as public as some people wish we were, or perhaps it would have made more difference.

You have got this stress of companies joining – the stress of pulling into politics or pulling companies. When do I want to join? You may not be involved in every issue. So those are the most important things for your company that we go back to.

We are very clear on the importance of diversity and inclusion of The Coca-Cola Company, which aspires to be a brand for all, and has given its history, especially in the South. We stand for diversity and inclusion in Georgia, and that is why we have come to the table on this issue. We tried to influence change. it did not work. But we have not given up by any stretch of the imagination.

You had many senior roles before becoming CEO, what is the biggest difference as CEO?

When you become CEO you feel like you’ve got this organizational pyramid and you’ve come out on top, and now everyone works for you. But then you realize that there is another pyramid, but it is upside down, and you are a person below.

There are many stakeholders who want to tell you what to do, and many of them do not work in business. Therefore, you should deal with the board, media, investors, analysts, NGOs, government. You have this whole galaxy of people you need to deal with in a way that was not true for any of the other jobs. If you haven’t really been able to clarify which are the things that I want to tell people and prioritize things, it can be quite volatile.

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