Coca-Cola’s general counsel and corporate secretary Deval Patrick has quit the drinks giant.
Patrick’s resignation coincides with investigations by the Securities Exchange Commission and the Department of Justice into claims that Coca-Cola inflated profits by shipping excessive soft drink syrup to bottlers in Japan.
However, a Coca-Cola spokesperson denied that the two were linked and said that Patrick’s exit is not a sign that the Federal authorities will make a finding against the company.
Coca-Cola’s chief executive officer Doug Daft announced Patrick’s resignation in a memorandum dated 12 April.
“Deval has made significant contributions to our company since his arrival in 2001. He guided the legal team through significant challenges and obstacles by our company during the past four years. He ably defended the company’s interests on many fronts,” said Daft in the memo.
Patrick, who joined Coca-Cola from Chevron Texaco, is being replaced by an interim general counsel Geoff Kelly, a 34-year old Coca-Cola legal department veteran. Patrick is due to leave the company at the end of the year.