Stakeholders of Coca-Cola (Stakeholder analysis of the Coca-Cola company)
This article aims to examine the main stakeholders of Coca-Cola. The Coca-Cola company is an American multinational corporation. It has 500+ brands that are sold in over 200 countries and territories. Unsurprisingly, it works with hundreds of stakeholders. Its main stakeholders include bottling partners, suppliers, consumers, customers, industry partners, governments and NGOs (The Coca-Cola company, 2020).
Internal stakeholders of the Coca-Cola company
The Board of Directors, Vice presidents, senior leaders, employees, and shareholders are the main internal stakeholders of the Coca-Cola company. There are a limited number of people who work as senior leaders and are also part of the Board of Directors. Both senior leaders and the Board of Directors take care of the strategic direction of the company and are committed to making positive impact on local communities.
Coca-Cola’s total number of employees in 2019 was over eighty-six thousand. The company offers many internship, co-op and management trainee programs around the world to attract and retain the best talents. Likewise, employees have the opportunity to develop a long and successful career within the company. However, it should be mentioned that the Coca-Cola company was sued a number of times in the past and agreed to pay certain amount of money to settle racial discrimination cases (Bachman, 2006).
The Coca-Cola Company has three broad categories of shareholders i.e. institutional shareholders, Mutual fund holders, and individual shareholders. Some of the top shareholders are Berkshire Hathaway, Inc., The Vanguard Group, Inc., SSgA Funds Management, Inc., Wellington Management Co., BlackRock Fund Advisors, Vanguard Total Stock Market Index, Geode Capital Management LLC, Northern Trust Investments, Inc., and Vanguard 500 Index Fund (CNN, 2020). It is worth noting that the Coca-Cola company had faced challenges from some shareholders in the past over a number of issues.
External stakeholders of the Coca-Cola company
Bottling partners, customers, consumers, suppliers, industry partners, governments and NGOs are the main external stakeholders of the Coca-Cola company. The total number of consumers of the company is difficult to figure out; however, over 1.9 billion servings of its drinks are enjoyed globally each day. To take these enormous number of servings to consumers, the company works with many bottling partners around the world.
The Coca-Cola company sells concentrates, beverage bases and syrups to bottling partners who manufacture the final products to sell to organisational customers e.g. wholesalers, retailers, independent outlets, restaurants, movie theatres to name but a few. These organisational customers then sell the products to consumers (The Coca-Cola company2020). This shows that the bottling partners are very important stakeholders of the company.
Governments and NGO’s are also very important stakeholders of the Coca-Cola company. Maintaining good relationship with them is vital; however, this is not always smooth. For instance, NGOs and academics protested in 2017 against a bottling plant in Mexico. It was claimed that the region had faced water scarcity, while the Coca-Cola company was using 750,000 litres of water per day. Likewise, in 2006, several Indian states banned the sale of coke at schools and colleges over health concerns.
Influence and power of the Coca-Cola company’s stakeholders
It goes without saying that all stakeholders are important for the Coca-Cola company. However, they cannot all exert the same or similar power; nor will they be interested to do so. It can then be said that the Board of directors and senior leaders are the most powerful stakeholders as they chart the strategic direction of the company.
Shareholders may put enough pressure on the company that may influence the strategic decisions, hence very important stakeholders. Likewise, organisational customers are important stakeholders; however, they individually do not have much impact on the operations of the company.
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Last update: 13 November 2020
Bachman, J. (2006) Coke Announces $192.5 Million Settlement, available at: https://abcnews.go.com/US/story?id=94989&page=1 (accessed 08 October 2020)
CNN (2020) Coca-Cola Co, available at: https://money.cnn.com/quote/shareholders/shareholders.html?symb=KO&subView=institutional (accessed 11 November 2020)
The Coca-Cola company (2020) Our company, available at: https://www.coca-colacompany.com/company (accessed 10 October 2020)
Author: M Rahman
M Rahman writes extensively online and offline with an emphasis on business management, marketing, and tourism. He is a lecturer in Management and Marketing. He holds an MSc in Tourism & Hospitality from the University of Sunderland. Also, graduated from Leeds Metropolitan University with a BA in Business & Management Studies and completed a DTLLS (Diploma in Teaching in the Life-Long Learning Sector) from London South Bank University.