175 Makers of History: Roberto C. Goizueta

Roberto C. Goizueta 90H
CEO, The Coca-Cola Company; Emory Philanthropist

Roberto Goizueta

Roberto C. Goizueta once said, "My story boils down to the uniquely American idea that a young immigrant could come to this country with nothing but a good education and a job as a chemist, and thirty years later have the opportunity to lead one of the world's best-known enterprises." That enterprise was The Coca-Cola Company, which Goizueta guided from 1981 until his death in 1997.

He started with the company in 1954, in his native Cuba. He fled the island in 1961, arriving in the U.S. with his wife and three children, $40 in cash, and 100 shares of Coca-Cola stock. Under Goizueta's leadership, the market value of Coca-Cola shares rose from $4 billion to $145 billion, and the company tripled in size.

Elected an Emory trustee in 1980, Goizueta was a great friend of the University, working quietly behind the scenes on Emory's behalf. Emory's business school was named for him in 1994.