JULY 24, 2001
More changes at Coca-Cola
COCA-COLA has slipped quietly into frontline motor racing this year with the Nordic Racing team in Formula 3000. The team's drivers Justin Wilson and Tomas Enge are currently battling for the title with Australia's Mark Webber. The F3000 deal comes from Coca-Cola's Eastern European bottler but there is no doubt that the program did receive the sanction from Coca-Cola headquarters in Atlanta, Georgia.
The potential for further involvement in racing should not be overlooked as the company is still in the process of restructuring its management following the takeover as chairman and chief executive in February 2000 by Australian Douglas Daft. At the same time the entire soft drink business is slowing down and sales are falling. Some of this is due to the fact that high energy drinks such as Red Bull are taking a percentage of the market.
Coca-Cola has always said that it does not need Formula 1 because it is the world's most powerful brand name there are signs that this policy could change. The many different bottlers around the world have been grouped into four business units covering the Americas, Europe/Africa and Asia and a separate unit for new business ventures.
Coca-Cola has just appointed a new chief operating officer in 65-year-old Brian Dyson, an American who has been with the firm since 1959.
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