Coca-Cola, cubano, Roberto Goizueta

Roberto Goizueta, the Cuban who successfully directed Coca-Cola

Madrid Spain.- Roberto Goizueta (1932-1997), a Havanan from a family dedicated to the sugar cane business and graduated in chemical engineering, became Chairman of the Board of Directors and CEO of The Coca-Cola Company.

After studying at a Jesuit high school in Havana, he traveled to the United States, where he spent a year at a preparatory school in Connecticut. He subsequently earned a chemical engineering scholarship at Yale University.

His family, of Basque origin, had a refinery in Cuba, and in 1953 he returned to the island to dedicate himself to the family business.

After the triumph of the Cuban Revolution, he was on vacation in Miami, where he decided to keep only $200 and 100 shares of Coca Cola (which cost $8,000 at the time, which his father lent him).

In Cuba he had already worked as a chemist for the Coca Cola bottling plant; and after settling in the United States he worked for the same company in Miami. He was then reassigned to Nassau and the Bahamas as a Caribbean Region Chemist. At 35, he was already the Vice President of Research and Technological Development; and in 1975 he was promoted to head the Legal and External Affairs Department. In 1980, after the death of then official president J. Lucian Smith, he assumed the presidency, a fact that surprised the business world. From then until his death, he remained in this position and contributed to the growth of the prestigious company.

During his 16 years as president, Coca-Cola became the brand known worldwide. Her presidency was characterized by the introduction of new products and international expansion.

After his death on October 18, 1997 due to lung cancer, Reuters reported that in 1981 the market value of Coca-Cola was 4,000 million dollars, and in 1997 it was around 150,000 million dollars.

Goizueta, who became the richest Latino in the United States, showed that a Hispanic can successfully run a large North American multinational.

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