Coca-Cola raises dividend, names new v.p.

by Eric Schroeder
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ATLANTA — The board of directors of The Coca-Cola Co. approved an increase in the company’s annual dividend. The move marks the company’s 47th consecutive annual dividend increase, raising the quarterly dividend approximately 8% to 41c per share from 38c per share. This is equivalent to an annual dividend of $1.64 per share, up from $1.52 per share in 2008. The dividend is payable April 1 to shareowners of record as of March 15.

"The increase reflects the board’s confidence in the company’s long-term cash flow," Coca-Cola said. "The company returned $4.6 billion to shareowners in 2008, through $3.5 billion in dividends and $1.1 billion in share repurchases. In the past five years, the company’s dividends have grown at a compound annual rate of more than 10%."

In addition to the dividend increase, the board elected Javier Goizueta as vice-president of the company. Earlier this month, he was named president of The McDonald’s Division. In this role, he will be responsible for building and strengthening the company’s strategic alliance with McDonald’s in 118 countries and more than 31,000 restaurants. Mr. Goizueta succeeds Jerry Wilson, who was recently named the company’s chief customer and commercial officer.

Since joining the Company in 2001, Mr. Goizueta has been vice-president, USA within The McDonald’s Division; vice-president, Global Still Beverages Operations and Commercialization; and vice-president, Global New Business Models. Prior to joining Coca-Cola, he spent 20 years with Procter & Gamble, 10 years in their U.S. Operations and 10 years in Latin America.

He received a bachelor of arts degree from Auburn University.

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