Summary of I'd Like the World to Buy a Coke

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I'd Like the World to Buy a Coke book summary


9 Overall

8 Applicability

8 Innovation

9 Style


This is a good business biography. The author has an eye for the interesting detail - such as the fact that the future chairman of Coca-Cola and the future Yankee-hating Communist leader Fidel Castro went to the same elite Cuban private school. He also has a good understanding of the business issues that Roberto Goizueta addressed during his remarkably successful career. This is not a hagiography or an "authorized" biography. In fact, author David Griesing reports that Goizueta opposed the book project and directed his friends and the public relations department of Coca-Cola not to cooperate. Remarkably, in the face of that opposition, the author not only persevered but also produced a book that seems scrupulously objective. If it is not a paen, neither is it a hatchet job. It’s the real thing, and finds it well worth reading and recommending.

In this summary, you will learn

  • How Roberto Goizueta, former CEO of Coca Cola, grew up in Cuba;
  • What triumphs and disasters accompanied his laborious climb up the corporate ladder; and
  • Why introducing “New Coke” was a mistake.

About the Author

David Greising is a business columnist at the Chicago Tribune and former Atlanta bureau chief of BusinessWeek magazine. He covered Goizueta and Coca-Cola from 1994 to 1998. He is also author of Brokers, Bagmen & Moles: Fraud and Corruption in the Chicago Futures Market.



The Prelude

Born in Cuba, the scion of an aristocratic family, Roberto Goizueta learned proverbs that distilled practical lore and wisdom from his Basque-immigrant grandfather. Years later, as chairman of Coca-Cola, he used these proverbs — such as, "If your neighbor's beard is on fire, make sure yours is soaking wet" — to illustrate his points at meetings.

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