A Cuban-born American businessman who was the first Hispanic CEO of a Fortune 500 company. Goizueta served as chairman and CEO of the Coca-Cola Company from 1980 until his death in 1997. During his tenure the Coca-Cola brand became the best-known trademark in the world. At the age of 35, he became Vice President of Technical Research and Development. He remained the youngest person to hold this position at the company. In 1975, he was promoted to lead the Legal and External Affairs department. In 1982, he introduced Diet Coke, followed by Cherry Coke and the controversial New Coke, both in 1985; advertising slogans “Coke is it!”, “You Can’t Beat the Feeling” and “Always Coca-Cola“. In 1982, Goizueta approved the purchase of Columbia Pictures, signaling Coca-Cola’s intentions to branch out beyond the soft drink business.
Roberto Goizueta established the Goizueta Foundation, with the goal of supporting educational and charity institutions. “The purpose of the Goizueta Foundation is to assist organizations that empower individuals and families through educational opportunities to improve the quality of their lives.
“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 30 years later have the opportunity to lead one of the world’s best-known enterprises.”
– Roberto C. Goizueta