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Roberto Crispulo Goizueta: 1931-1997: Businessman, Chemical Engineer

A Successful Career Came To An Abrupt End

Despite occasional bumps in the road, Goizueta's overall strategic plan for revamping the Coca Cola company was a success. When Goizueta assumed leadership of the company, the share value of Coke was $4.3 billion. By the end of his reign, that number had increased to more than $152 billion. As a share-owner in Coke, Goizueta's personal wealth increased as his company profited. By 1997 Goizueta owned 15.9 million Coke shares worth over a billion dollars. He never sold his original 100 shares of Coke stock that he bought when he started working for the company. His $8,000 investment was worth over $3 million.

Goizueta was a lifelong smoker who was diagnosed with lung cancer in September of 1997. He died just one month later. Goizueta's legacy lives on through the Goizueta Foundation, which donates money to numerous social and educational causes. Goizueta also donated a significant amount of Coke stock to Emory University in Atlanta, which named its business school after him in 1994. According to Maria Mallory of U.S. News and World Report in November of 1997, Goizueta saw his life as an example of what could be accomplished with the American dream. "My story boils down to a single, inspiring reality … that a young immigrant could come to this country, be given a chance to work hard and apply his skills, and ultimately earn the opportunity to lead … an institution that actually symbolizes the very essence of America and American ideals."



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"Why Would Anyone Go to Engineering School?" www.eng.yale.edu/sheff/Goizueta/rg-remarks.html (March 26,203).

—Janet P. Stamatel

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Brief BiographiesBiographies: E(mily) R. Frank (1967-) Biography - Personal to Martha Graham (1893–1991) BiographyRoberto Crispulo Goizueta: 1931-1997: Businessman, Chemical Engineer Biography - Born Into Cuba's Social Elite, Left Family Business For Coca-cola, Climbed The Corporate Ladder