Thursday, January 05, 2012

Inside Coca Cola by Neville Isdell

Neville Isdell was a key player at Coca-Cola for more than 30 years, retiring in 2009 as CEO after regilding the tarnished brand image of the world's leading soft-drink company. This first book by a Coca-Cola CEO tells an extraordinary personal and professional worldwide story, ranging from Northern Ireland to South Africa to Australia, the Philippines, Russia, Germany, India, South Africa, and Turkey. Isdell helped put out huge public relations fires (India and Turkey), opened markets(Russia, Eastern Europe, Philippines and Africa), championed Muhtar Kent, the current Turkish-American CEO, all while living the ideal of corporate responsibility. Isdell's, and Coke's, story is newsy without being gossipy, principled without being preachy. It is filled with stories and lessons appealing to anybody who has ever taken "the pause that refreshes." It is also a readable and important look at how companies can market and govern themselves more-ethically and to great success.

I really enjoyed this book. I'm sure it had plenty to do with the time spent in South Africa, making it quite fascinating, I thought. I mean I never really considered that a business man working here could end up playing on such a global stage for such a well-known brand (although he is not actually a South African, but still). If you like non-fiction life-stories, I'd highly recommend this one.

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