Case Study

The Cola-Cola company

34 pages
December 2008
Reference: IMD-5-0741

When E. Neville Isdell returned to The Coca Cola Company (TCCC) as CEO in 2004, he brought a vision for change and sustainable growth. Working with his senior management team, he created the “manifesto for growth” which defined sustainable growth in terms of profit, people, partners, portfolio and planet, providing ten-year objectives for each. In 2005, Muhtar Kent, a 28-year veteran of the Coca-Cola System, was appointed president and COO. He was destined to succeed Isdell. When he took the reins of TCCC in July 2008, he was faced with an increasingly complex and evolving environment: sensitive bottler relationships within the System, potentially dynamic growth in emerging markets, evolving consumer tastes, changing shopper behavior, a retail landscape that was consolidating in ownership and innovating in formats, shifting competitive dynamics, and a growing portfolio of products, acquired companies and partnerships. TCCC, as a total non-alcoholic beverage company, faced a new set of challenges and an unclear destiny as it moved forth in the 21st century. How should TCCC innovate, and more generally, how could it accelerate sustainable growth? And, how would its competitors – its old rival Pepsico and the plethora of others with smaller scale and more-focused product and/or geographic scope – address the same issues?

Learning Objective

The objective of the case is to 1) illustrate all important aspects of “The Coca-Cola System”, that is the relationship The Coca-Cola Company has with its network of bottlers; 2) outline The Coca-Cola Company’s historical success in sparkling beverages and its recent major moves into non-sparkling categories, 3) describe options facing The Coca-Cola Company are it strives for continued growth.

Franchising, Growth
Published Sources
© 2008
Available Languages
Case clearing houses
IMD case studies are distributed through case clearing houses. In order to browse the collection and purchase copies please visit the links below.

The Case Centre

Cranfield University

Wharley End Beds MK43 0JR, UK
Tel +44 (0)1234 750903
Email [email protected]

Harvard Business School Publishing

60 Harvard Way, Boston MA 02163, USA
Tel (800) 545-7685 Tel (617)-783-7600
Fax (617) 783-7666
Email [email protected]

Asia Pacific Case Center

NUCB Business School

1-3-1 Nishiki Naka
Nagoya Aichi, Japan 460-0003
Tel +81 52 20 38 111
Email [email protected]


Research Information & Knowledge Hub for additional information on IMD publications

Discover our latest research
IMD's faculty and research teams publish articles, case studies, books and reports on a wide range of topics