Gillette’s Kilts Is Favorite To Run Coke

Discussion
Apr 20, 2004
George Anderson

By George Anderson


Bill Pecoriello, an analyst with Morgan Stanley, says the current chief executive at Gillette, Jim Kilts, is the leading candidate to succeed Doug Draft as the chairman and CEO
at Coca-Cola.


Mr. Kilts is described in a research report written by the analyst as having “one of the best track records in the entire consumer products sector.” The executive is widely credited
with having led turnarounds at both Gillette and before that, Nabisco.


Neither Coca-Cola or Gillette would comment on the rumors.


The companies share a common link with Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway being the largest shareholder in each. Mr. Buffett was on the Gillette board responsible for elevating
Mr. Kilts to the top spot at Gillette.


Mr. Kilt’s rumored favorite status appears to be a setback for the leading candidate for the top spot inside Coke, current president and chief operating officer, Steven Heyer.


Other candidates rumored to be under consideration, reports the Atlanta Journal-Constitution include “Robert Eckert, chairman and CEO of Mattel; Carlos M. Gutierrez, president
and CEO of Kellogg; R. Kerry Clark, vice chairman and president of global market development and business operations at Procter & Gamble; and E. Neville Isdell, a former Coke
executive.”


Moderator’s Comment: What will the next leader of Coke need to do after replacing Doug Daft? Do you have thoughts
on any of candidate’s mentioned for the top spot at Coke?


Coke’s stock rose ($1.07 to $53) and Gillette’s stock price fell (1.57 to $38.25) yesterday on the possibility of Jim Kilts switching companies.
George
Anderson – Moderator

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