Over the past few years, Coca-Cola has simply not lived up to its potential. Revenue has been flat and net income before extraordinary items was lower in 2013 than in 2011, despite massive spending on marketing and several cost cutting initiatives. At the same time, Coca-Cola’s debt has increased by $8.5 billion. Furthermore, the pace at which Coca-Cola has fixed-up and refranchised its bottlers has been frustratingly slow, and disclosure on the performance of the bottling assets has been less than clear. All of these factors lead us to believe that Coca-Cola could be better managed.
Coca-Cola is a company with incredible potential around the world and some of the most valuable consumer brands ever created. Its shareholders deserve leadership that respects and honors the iconic nature of the company and is willing to do what it takes to restore Coca-Cola to the great company that we know it to be. We have outlined a few modest steps that we believe are essential to returning value to Coca-Cola. If the current board of directors and management team are unwilling or unable to get Coca-Cola back on the path of profitable and organic growth that accrues to all shareholders, they should be replaced. Coca-Cola and its shareholders deserve nothing less.
- Bloomberg, “Coca-Cola Cuts CEO Kent’s Pay After Revamping Equity Program”
- The Wall Street Journal, “What Is Coke CEO’s Solution for Lost Fizz? More Soda,” By Mike Esterl
- Seeking Alpha, “CEO Pay At Coca-Cola: Up Or Down?” By Paul Hodgson
- David Winters discusses Coca-Cola’s secret “bonus shares” with Maria Bartiromo on Fox Business
- Benefit of Coca-Cola’s Equity Compensation Guidelines Enacted After Public Pressure from Wintergreen Advisers: $6.6 billion to $21 billion
- Wintergreen Advisers Comments on Shareholder Opposition to Coca-Cola’s Executive Pay
- Wintergreen Advisers Cites Changes in Coca-Cola Proxy, But Big Issues Remain
- Wintergreen Advisers Poses Questions for Coca-Cola