The Board of Directors of The Coca-Cola Company today announced legendary businessmen Donald R. Keough and James B. Williams will not stand for re-election to the Board at the Company’s Annual Meeting of Shareowners in April. The leaders retire after decades of distinguished service to The Coca-Cola Company.
Keough, 86, served as President and Chief Operating Officer of The Coca-Cola Company from 1981 to 1993, though his Coca-Cola history dates to 1950 when he joined Butter-Nut Coffee, which was first acquired by Duncan Foods, and then by The Coca-Cola Company in 1960. During his tenure with Coca-Cola, Keough served as head of The Coca-Cola Foods Division from 1971 to 1973, as Chairman of the Board of Coca-Cola Enterprises from 1986 to 1993, and as Chairman of Columbia Pictures, Inc., from 1982 to 1989. He retired as President, Chief Operating Officer and a Director of the Company in April 1993. He was again elected as a Director in 2004.
Keough is known for his many business and personal accomplishments, having successfully steered the Company through the ‘cola wars’ of the 1980s. During his tenure, the Company and the system saw rapid international expansion and significant shareowner value was created. Keough was also known for his keen ability to connect with and cultivate relationships with all those who came in contact with Coca-Cola. He is regarded as one of the most successful leaders in the Company’s 126-year history.
For the past 20 years, Keough has served as non-executive Chairman of the Board of Allen & Company Incorporated, a privately held investment firm. He also is Chairman of DMK International, and a Director of Berkshire Hathaway Inc. and IAC/InterActive Corp. Keough also has served as non-executive Chairman of the Board of Allen & Company, and has served on the Boards of McDonald’s, The Washington Post Company, H.J. Heinz Company, Convera Corporation and The Home Depot. He is Chairman emeritus of the Board of Trustees and a Life Trustee of the University of Notre Dame.
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