I'd Like the World to Buy a Coke: The Life and Leadership of Roberto Goizueta

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Wiley, Mar 6, 1998 - Biography & Autobiography - 360 pages
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When Roberto Goizueta fled Fidel Castro's Cuba in 1960, he had just $200 in his pocket and 100 shares of Coca-Cola stock in a New York bank. He also had a job at the Coca-Cola Co. By the time he died in 1997, the Coca-Cola chairman was worth $1 billion and had transformed Coke from a doddering giant into one of the world's most successful and admired companies. Under his leadership, Coke's stock price jumped 3500%, the company tripled in size, and it controlled nearly half of the world's soft drink market. Just who was Roberto Goizueta? He was the chemical engineer with no marketing background who vaulted to the top of the world's greatest marketing monolith. A results-oriented taskmaster, he turned Coke upside down by declaring there would be "no sacred cows" at the tradition-bound company. Two of his biggest career moves-New Coke and Coke's purchase of Columbia Pictures-were disasters that he converted into triumphs. Unloading assets, reinventing Coke's finances, and marching into new markets around the globe, Goizueta transformed Coca-Cola into a new kind of company: the brand-marketing powerhouse. For Goizueta, the words "Coke Is It" were more than just a marketing slogan; they described a corporats strategy. Goizueta became a hero to his fellow chief executives, to Coke's stockholders, and to Coke drinkers around the world. His controversial $81 million payday for 1991 made him one of the highest-paid chief executives ever. But, until now, little has been known about the man. I'd Like the World to Buy a Coke takes a candid look at the life and career of one of the longest-serving and highest-paid chief executives in history. Author David Greising, the Atlanta bureau chief of Business Week, inter-viewed dozens of top executives and close friends, reviewed a trove of correspondence and corporate records, and drew from previously unpublished interviews with Goizueta and other key players to tell the Roberto Goizueta story as it's never been told before. Greising chronicles every phase in a career fraught with surprising twists and turns, from Goizueta's watershed decision to break away from his father and work for Coke, to his flight from Cuba, to his grooming for the chairman's job and the bitter battle for Coke's corner office. The book gives previously unpublished insight into Coke's conquest of eastern Europe and push for truly worldwide distribution, its controversial hiring of the Hollywood talent agency behind the "Always Coca-Cola" campaign, Goizueta's behind-the-scenes push to bring the Olympics to Atlanta, and his careful selection of his own successor, years before his sudden death from lung cancer in October 1997.

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I'd like the world to buy a coke: the life and leadership of Roberto Goizueta

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A fascinating and readable chronicle of how a lowly chemical engineer rose through the ranks to become the CEO of Coca-Cola and then proceeded to transform the giant company into a truly global brand name, tripling the corporation's size. Read full review


Cuba Castro and Coke
Flight to the Top
The Spanish Inquisition

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About the author (1998)

DAVID GREISING is the Atlanta bureau chief of BusinessWeek magazine, and has covered Goizueta and Coca-Cola since arriving in Atlanta in early 1994. A graduate of DePauw University, he was a business columnist for the Chicago Sun-Times before joining BusinessWeek's Chicago bureau in 1989. He is also the author of Brokers, Bagmen & Moles: Fraud and Corruption in the Chicago Futures Market (Wiley).

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