Coca-Cola could abandon its Russia business entirely, says CEO

5 May, 04:55 PM
James Quincey, СЕО Coca-Cola (Photo:Coca-Cola)

James Quincey, СЕО Coca-Cola (Photo:Coca-Cola)

Coca-Cola Co. could stop all operations in Russia if the Kremlin’s war on Ukraine lasts for a prolonged amount of time, the company’s CEO James Quincey said on May 3.

Quincey was speaking during the CEO Council Summit hosted by U.S. newspaper the Wall Steet Journal in London, the UK.

According to him, Coca-Cola could see its Russian business “entirely vanish at some point,” should the war Ukraine drag on for a while.

In March, the company paused sales of ingredients for its soft drinks to Russian franchises.

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Among other companies, Coca-Cola faced criticism over its decision to not close down Russian operations following the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Quincey, however, said that private enterprises like Coca-Cola have no influence on world governments.

“Symbolic gestures are important, but they would never be the deciding factor,” he said.

On Feb. 24, Coca-Cola shut down its Ukrainian factory.

In March, the company confirmed it continues to operate in Russia: “All Coca-Cola operational, production, and logistical capacities are working in Russia; we continue to fulfil our obligations to partners, society, and thousands of our employees in Russia.”

As a consequence, a number of large Ukrainian retailers stopped carrying Coca-Cola products.

On March 9, the company announced a halt to its operations in Russia, but did not specify what exactly that entails.

Coca-Cola operates 10 soft drink factories in Russia.

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