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Ware, Carl H. 1943–

Carl H. Ware 1943

Business executive

At a Glance

Sources

In January of 2000 Carl H. Ware, the top-ranking African-American executive at the Coca-Cola Company, reversed an earlier decision to retire in order to become head of the companys new Global Public Affairs and Administration division. Starting in 1974, Ware worked his way up the corporate ladder to become president of Coca-Colas Africa Group and co-chairman of its Diversity Advisory Council. As head of the new division, Ware was responsible for improving Cokes worldwide image after several public relations problems threatened the wholesome image of the company. Cokes new CEO, Douglas Daft, stated in the company announcement of the promotion that Carls principal role is to ensure that the Coca-Cola Co. continues to be welcome around the world, and that we apply community and neighbor equally to those who live next door or on the next continent. Ware faced stiff challenges in his new role; he had to soothe over fractious relationships with European governments, boost the companys domestic image by proving its commitment to diversity, and organize Cokes global philanthropic endeavors.

Ware was born in Newnan, Georgia, on September 30, 1943, to U.B. and Lois Wimberly Ware. His parents were sharecroppers tending a farm on white-owned land in the segregated South. As one of 12 children, Ware was expected to help the family bring in the harvest, which interrupted his schooling on occasion. When he was able to attend school, he had to walk several miles to and from the segregated school. His determination to receive an education helped him surmount the hardships of his childhood, as he described during a 2001 speech to the Chattanooga Boys Club: I learned that if I wanted to work somewhere other than a cotton field I needed an education. I also learned that, to get my education, I was going to have to work harder than the kids whose families had more money.

Wares hard work paid off. He attended Clark College in Atlanta, graduating in 1965. He then studied at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh from 1965 to 1966 before earning his masters of public administration from the University of Pittsburgh in 1968.

After graduation, Ware began his career, not in the business world, but in the arena of city housing as director of housing for the Urban League of Pittsburgh. In 1970 he moved to Atlanta and assumed the dual positions of director of Family and Community Services

At a Glance

Born Carl H. Ware on September 30, 1943, in Newnan, GA; son of sharecroppers UB. and Lois Wimberly Ware; married Mary Clark, 1966; children: Timothy Alexander. Education: Clark College, B.A., 1965; Carnegie Mellon University, attended, 1965-1966; University of Pittsburgh, M.P.A, 1968; Harvard Business School, International Senior Management Program, graduated, 1991.

Career: Urban League of Pittsburgh, director of housing, 1968-1970; Atlanta Housing Authority, director of Family and Community Services and deputy director of Urban Redevelopment, 1970-73; Atlanta City Council, councilman, 1973-1979; Coca-Cola, Atlanta, urban and governmental affairs specialist, 1974-1979, USA special markets vice-president, 1979-1982, senior vice-president, 1986-1991, deputy vice-president of Northeast Europe and Africa, 1991-1993, head of the Africa Group, 1993-1999, head of Global Public Affairs and Administration division, 2000-.

Memberships: Board member, Georgia Power; board member, Southern Africa Enterprise Development Fund; board member, Medical Education for South African Blacks; board member. Africa-America institute; Council on Foreign Relations; chair, board of trustees, Clark University.

Addresses: The Coca-Cola Co., PO Box 1734, Atlanta, GA 30301-1734.

and deputy director of Urban Redevelopment with the Atlanta Housing Authority. Three years later he made the leap into city politics, winning an election to the Atlanta City Council. He served as president of the Council from 1976 to 1979.

Ware joined Coca-Cola Company, whose corporate headquarters are in Atlanta, in 1974 while still serving as a councilman. His long career with the world-famous soft drink giant began as an urban and governmental affairs specialist. Only five years later he became the Coca-Cola USA special markets vice-president, responsible for marketing Coke products to minority groups. In this role, Ware had his first experience as a high-profile diplomat for the company. In 1981, civil rights leader Jesse Jackson threatened to mobilize a black boycott of the company under the slogan Dont Choke on Coke over Cokes poor minority hiring record. Ware set up a $50 million program to encourage black vendors, and Jackson backed down.

Wares deft handling of the potential public relations disaster was certainly a contributing factor in his promotion to urban affairs vice-president in 1982. Coke capitalized on Wares diplomatic skills by putting him in charge of the companys domestic and international external affairs and philanthropic programs. Wares next promotion was to senior vice-president in 1986, and by 1991 he had become the deputy vice-president of Northeast Europe and Africa. A run through the International Senior Management Program in Harvards business school in 1991 helped prepare him for this role. In 1993 Ware became head of the companys Africa group.

The results of Wares efforts in Africa were dramatic. He almost singlehandedly made Coke a household name on the continent. Working from Atlanta, he organized a U.S. tour for Nelson Mandela to raise funds for his successful campaign to become president of South Africa. Coke now sells about 400 million cases a year in that country, about half of its sales in all of Africa. He also urged Coca-Cola to support relief efforts when drought struck Zimbabwe and when refugees needed help in Rwanda. Coke CEO Douglas Ivester issued a statement in 1999 praising Ware for his work, stating that he has been responsible for developing and building our Africa business into the success that it is today.

Wares success with the Africa group did not make him immune to shake-ups within the company. Public relations disasters hit the company hard during the late 1990s, particularly in Europe where a contamination scare in Belgium in June of 1999 prompted the worst recall in Cokes history and a ban of Coke products for over a week in several countries. Just a few months after the recall a complaint by rival company Pepsi regarding Cokes business practices prompted an investigation of the company by European authorities. In addition, many countries perceived Coca-Colas aggressive strategy to expand its international market share in the highly competitive soft drink industry as the epitome of American imperialism. France blocked Cokes attempt to acquire the soft drink company Orangina. These troubles accompanied a management reshuffle that same year; a reworking of the organizational chart had Ware reporting to a fellow vice-president, which was effectively a demotion. Ware opted to retire instead and announced his intentions in late 1999.

However, the company shake-ups were not yet over. Cokes embattled CEO, Ivester, announced his resignation shortly thereafter, and his successor, Douglas N. Daft, wasted no time in persuading Ware to remain with the company as head of a new global affairs unit. In his announcement of Wares acceptance of the offer, Daft stated, We must think locally and act locally, and no one understands that better than Carl. Wares new position with Coke required him to exert much of the same diplomacy that was a hallmark of his other roles. In addition to Cokes tarnished image in Europe, charges of racial discrimination in the United States resurfaced at the close of the century, culminating in a wide-ranging lawsuit. Wares abilities to create goodwill in his business relations was a key component of the rehabilitation of Cokes image.

Ware admitted in accepting the position that Weve got work to do. Part of his plan involved the promotion of minority hiring and career development as co-head of the Diversity Advisory Council. He also planned to work on restoring good relations between Coke and international governments, many of which have taken a hard line to prevent Cokes increasing influence in local markets. Relationships with independent bottlers also needed to be repaired after a steep hike in Coke concentrate prices during the late 1990s brought numerous complaints.

Ware has never backed down from tackling big problems in the past, and his global vision has put him in touch with some of the most powerful leaders in the world. He has named Secretary of State Colin Powell, Nelson Mandela, and Archbishop Desmond Tutu as his personal friends. He received invitations to the White House from both Bill Clinton and George W. Bush during their administrations. He served on a panel in London with British Prime Minister Tony Blair, and committed Coke to an international AIDS effort in a presentation to U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan in 2001. Ware has taken the company mandate Think locally, act locally to heart, maintaining ties to his Atlanta community as chair of Clark Universitys board of trustees, and through his efforts on behalf of the Metropolitan Atlanta United Way.

Sources

Periodicals

Black Enterprise, May 2000.

Business Week, January 24, 2000.

Jet, November 29, 1999.

Newsweek, January 17, 2000.

Online

The Scanner On-Line Newspaper Business, 2001, www.teleport.com.

The Coca-Cola Company website, 2001, www2.coca-cola.com.

Rose Blue and Rebecca Parks

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"Ware, Carl H. 1943–." Contemporary Black Biography. . Encyclopedia.com. 22 Nov. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

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Ware, Carl H.

Carl H. Ware

Born: September 30, 1943
Newnan, Georgia
Executive vice president, Public Affairs and
Administration, Coca-Cola Company

Carl Ware has always been a hard worker ever since he was a child. The hard work took him out of the cotton fields, through college, and into the executive world of Coca-Cola. Ware scaled the corporate ladder at Coke, going from an urban and governmental affairs specialist in 1974 to executive vice president in charge of public affairs, communications, and government relations.

Education Overcomes Hardships

Carl H. Ware was born in Newnan, Georgia, on September 30, 1943, to U. B. and Lois Wimberly Ware. His parents were sharecroppers tending a farm on white-owned land in the segregated South. As one of twelve children, Ware was expected to help the family bring in the harvest, which interrupted his schooling on occasion. When he was able to attend school, he had to walk several miles to and from school. His determination to receive an education helped him overcome the hardships of his childhood.

"I learned that if I wanted to work somewhere other than a cotton field I needed an education. I also learned that, to get my education, I was going to have to work harder than the kids whose families had more money."

Ware's hard work paid off. He attended Clark College (Clark Atlanta University) in Atlanta, graduating in 1965 with a bachelor's degree. He then studied at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, from 1965 to 1966 before earning his master's degree in public administration from the Graduate School of Public and International Affairs at the University of Pittsburgh in 1968. He also graduated from the Harvard Business International Senior Management Program in 1991.

From Politics to Soda Pop

After graduation, Ware began his career, not in the business world, but in the arena of city government as director of housing for the Urban League of Pittsburgh. In 1970, he moved to Atlanta and assumed the dual positions of director of Family and Community Services and deputy director of Urban Redevelopment with the Atlanta Housing Authority. Three years later he made the leap into city politics, winning an election to the Atlanta city council. He served as president of the council from 1976 to 1979.

Ware joined Coca-Cola in 1974 while still serving as a councilman. His long career with the soft drink giant began with him serving as an urban and governmental affairs specialist. Five years later Ware became the Coca-Cola USA special markets vice president, responsible for marketing Coke products to minority groups. In this role, Ware had his first experience as a high-profile diplomat for the company. In 1981, civil rights leader Jesse Jackson (1941-) threatened to mobilize a black boycott of the company, claiming Coke had a poor minority hiring record. Ware set up a $50 million program at Coca-Cola to encourage black vendors, and Jackson backed down.

The Daring Diplomat

Ware's careful handling of the potential public relations disaster was certainly a contributing factor in his promotion to urban affairs vice president in 1982. Coke capitalized on Ware's diplomatic skills by putting him in charge of the company's domestic and international external affairs and philanthropic programs. Ware's next promotion was to senior vice president in 1986, and by 1991 he had become the deputy vice president of Northeast Europe and Africa. In 1993, Ware became head of the company's Africa group.

The results of Ware's efforts in Africa were dramatic. He almost single-handedly made Coke a household name on the continent. Working from Atlanta, he organized a U.S. tour for Nelson Mandela (1918-) to raise funds for his successful campaign to become president of South Africa. Coke now sells about four hundred million cases a year in that country, accounting for almost half of all sales in Africa. He also urged Coca-Cola to support relief efforts when drought struck Zimbabwe and when refugees needed help in Rwanda.

In 1999, Ware announced he was resigning from Coca-Cola. He took back his resignation after he was promoted to executive vice president, Public Affairs and Administration in 2000. In his new role, Ware did not back down from tackling big problems and his global vision put him in touch with some of the most powerful leaders in the world. He received invitations to the White House from both Bill Clinton (1946-) and George W.Bush (1946-) during their administrations. He served on a panel in London with British Prime Minister Tony Blair (1953-), and committed Coke to an international AIDS effort in a meeting with U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan (1938-) in 2001.

Ware, one of the most influential African American business leaders in the United States, also took the company mandate "Think locally, act locally" to heart. He maintained ties to his Atlanta community as chair of Clark Atlanta University's board of trustees, and through his efforts on behalf of the Metropolitan Atlanta United Way.

For More Information

Books

Allen, Frederick. Secret Formula. New York: Harper Business, 1994.

Greising, David. I'd Like the World to Buy a Coke: The Life and Leadership of Roberto Goizueta. New York: John Wiley & Sons, 1999.

Periodicals

Butler, Rachael. "Always Coca-Cola." Beverage World (March 15, 2000): p. 66.

"Coca-Cola Cuts Work Force in Massive Reorganization." Beverage Industry (February 2000): p. 9.

Garcia, Guy D. "Ten Routes to the American Dream." Time (July 8, 1985): pp. 62-63.

Hamilton, Martha M. "Executive Unresigns, Takes New Job at Coke." The Washington Post January 5, 2000): p. El.

Hayes, Jack. "Dr. John S. Pemberton." Nation's Restaurant News (February 1996): pp. 120-121.

Huey, John. "The World's Best Brand." Fortune (May 31,1993): pp. 44-51.

"The Real Thing Grows Up." Beverage World (Fall 1993): pp. 86-92.

"Will Coke Go Better With Carl Ware?" Business Week (January 24, 2000): p. 138.

Web Sites

Coca-Cola Company. [On-line] http://www.cocacola.com (accessed on August 15, 2002).

The Minute Maid Company. [On-line] http://www.minutemaid.com (accessed on August 15, 2002).

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"Ware, Carl H.." Leading American Businesses. . Encyclopedia.com. 22 Nov. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

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"Ware, Carl H.." Leading American Businesses. . Retrieved November 22, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/reference/trade-magazines/ware-carl-h