Coke corks unrest by rehiring resigned vet

ATLANTA: Coca-Cola took a significant step toward steadying its PR ship last week by convincing 26-year veteran Carl Ware to rescind his resignation and stay with the company as head of global public affairs and administration.

ATLANTA: Coca-Cola took a significant step toward steadying its PR ship last week by convincing 26-year veteran Carl Ware to rescind his resignation and stay with the company as head of global public affairs and administration.

ATLANTA: Coca-Cola took a significant step toward steadying its PR

ship last week by convincing 26-year veteran Carl Ware to rescind his

resignation and stay with the company as head of global public affairs

and administration.



Ware had resigned last November in the wake of a management

reorganization engineered by former chief M. Douglas Ivester. Under the

proposed hierarchy, Ware would have reported to Ivester through Douglas

Daft (who has since been named president and CEO), then head of Asian

operations. It was effectively a demotion.



In the new post, Ware will report directly to Daft and sit on the

company’s executive committee. Daft is also recommending that Coke’s

board of directors add EVP onto Ware’s title.



Ware’s promotion was widely touted as the first major step towards

repairing Coke’s tarnished PR profile. Indeed, forcing his resignation

was considered one of the worst PR miscues perpetrated by the company

during the Ivester regime.



At the time of his resignation, Ware, one of the few top Coke execs who

is black, had ascended to the post of SVP/president of Africa

operations, and was also co-chair of the company’s newly formed

diversity council.



This task force, chartered to maximize hiring and advancement

opportunities for minorities and women, had been formed following the

filing of a racial discrimination lawsuit by four Coke employees. The

company pointedly noted that Ware will continue to lead the diversity

council.



In an official statement released to the press, Ware said, ’I’m

delighted by this new opportunity.’ Evincing his sensitivity to PR

issues, Ware’s statement continued, ’The importance of being a partner

in the local community is as true in Nairobi as it is in New York.’



Gary Hemphill, VP of consulting group Beverage Marketing, hailed Coke’s

decision: ’Given some of their litigation issues, it’s a solid move for

them.’ Added Ware colleague and former corporate VP of urban affairs for

Sony Pictures Entertainment Harvey Lehman Jr., ’If anybody can make some

meaningful changes at Coca-Cola, it’s Carl.’



- See comment page, p16.



Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Register
Already registered?
Sign in

Would you like to post a comment?

Please Sign in or register.