Essay on What Really Happened to Coke

1780 Words8 Pages
Introduction and structure
Sometimes even the most brightest of minds fail. Doug Ivester, head of the Coca-Cola Company for only a little more than two years, resigned after an unofficial meeting with the two board members Warren Buffet and Herbert Alan. Fostered by former CEO Goizueta for over 10 years, he took over this position of one of the highest ranked global brands after Goizueta’s unforseeable death. As it turned out, Ivester could not generate the results he was expected to (Morris & Sellers 2000).

What happened along his short road as CEO? How and why could such a long time inducted person flop so badly? In a first step, this essay examines Ivester’s actions, taken into account different theoretical leadership approaches.
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Instead of using the received suggestions to improve his situation, Ivester favored neither learning nor getting feedback when he ignored the email from Donald R. Keough (Morris & Sellers 2000).

The deficient use of emotional intelligence in his leadership raises the question: what did he actually lead? To put it another way, looking at transformational leadership shows exactly what Ivester did not do. According to Avolio and Yammarino (2002), transformational leadership is highly motivational, inspirational and visionary and uses emotional attachment with followers to set higher standards. Doug Ivester never used emotions, he seemed cold and could not read the emotional signs of others. He lacked in empathy, thus made it hard for himself to find the right tone when dealing with a crisis or people as well as to inspire people or even get them to motivate themselves. Knight and Willmott (2007) distinguish between management and leadership, stating that “leadership is therefore linked with a process of organizing in which (in principle) greater emphasis is placed on inspiring, listening, facilitating and involving people, rather than instructing them to act. Leadership is linked to communication and innovation.” (Knight & Willmott 2007, p.259). In the short 26 months as CEO of Coke, Doug Ivester never evolved from a manager to a leader, due to his underdeveloped skills in emotional intelligence and communication.

Finding a new leader
In order to find a new and

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