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

James Quincey, СЕО Coca-Cola
James Quincey, СЕО Coca-Cola

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.

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

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.

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“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.”

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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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