Douglas Ivester - an Evaluation of Leadership at Coca Cola

1895 words 8 pages

On October 24th 1997 Doug Ivester took over as the 10th CEO and Chairman of Coca Cola, the world’s largest soft drink company, after the tenure of his predecessor Roberto Goizueta came to an abrupt end due to his sudden and unexpected death. In the 16 years as CEO of Coca Cola Yale-educated Goizueta earned himself a reputation of setting high objectives and achieving all of them. Growth in total annual sales from $5 billion in 1981 to $18.5 billion in 1997 and rises in net profits and company’s market capitalization of 700%, respectively 4000%, underline his more than successful leadership (Walter, Knopp & Reavis 2005).
In 1997 analysts expected former company president Doug Ivester, 50, who received unanimous support from
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He did so regardless of the fact that empowered people tend to be more committed to their tasks and as a result more creative and higher performing (Campling et al. 2008). Ivester who detested risk and kept his focus on the “sure-thing single” (Morris & Sellars, p.114+) ignored that innovative and sustainable successful companies require a certain extend of risk and flexibility. (Barsh, Capozzi & Davidson 2008)
Evaluating the leadership approach of Doug Ivester additionally it is to mention that effective leadership requires power to influence other people’s behaviour. Campling (2008) distinguishes between position power in the form of reward, coercive and legitimate and personal power in the form of expert and referent sources of power. The latter sources of power demand knowledge, charisma and interpersonal skills.
Having established a rigid control system, Ivester exclusively relied on legitimate power to get things done (Hays 2004). Whetten & Cameron (1991) argue that successful leadership requires all types of power and appropriate use to achieve goals and to pursue a shared vision in the long run.
As such, Ivester’s leadership approach can basically be described as contrary to the one of his predecessor Robert Goizueta who considered management as a