The Coca-Cola Company Establishes Professorship at IMD


IMD, a leading global business school based in Switzerland, and The Coca-Cola Company today announced the establishment of an endowed chair that will focus executive education curriculum and research on the complex dynamic of consumer and shopper marketing.

The chair, entitled "The Coca-Cola Professorship of Consumer Insights and Customer Marketing", will finance the salary of a professor and additional research in an area of interest designated by The Coca-Cola Company. The first holder of the chair will be Professor John Walsh.

Professor Walsh is in his tenth year at IMD. He is the Program Director of IMD's rigorous, action-oriented Executive MBA program and also directs a number of customized programs for other companies including Coca-Cola Hellenic Bottling Company and Hilton Hotels Corporation.

In the context of the chaired professorship, Professor Walsh will lead the development of the executive education curriculum and undertake research projects to enhance understanding of consumer and shopper marketing, and in particular, purchaser behavior at the choice occasion and in-store.

"It is truly an honor for me to be associated with such a prestigious company as Coca-Cola and the Coca-Cola system," said Professor Walsh. "I look forward to embarking on the research agenda we have set out."

"This endowment puts us at the forefront of executive education while gaining valuable insight from well-researched and tested customer development and commercial capability building practices," said Muhtar Kent, president and chief operating officer, The Coca-Cola Company. "A key pillar of The Coca-Cola Company's sustainable growth strategy involves nurturing a winning network of partners and building mutual success.

"This relationship is an example of our philosophy in action and is another step in our commitment to being the most respected, preferred and trusted global partner for our customers and bottling partners."

"IMD's success rests largely on our ability to attract and retain the best professors worldwide," added IMD President Peter Lorange. "Endowed chairs are critical in this respect, and by funding one, The Coca-Cola Company will contribute to IMD's long-term success, directly supporting our efforts to maintain preeminence in the field of executive education."

About the Coca-Cola Company

The Coca-Cola Company is the world's largest beverage company. Along with Coca-Cola, recognized as the world's most valuable brand, the Company markets four of the world's top five nonalcoholic sparkling brands, including Diet Coke, Fanta and Sprite, and a wide range of other beverages, including diet and light beverages, waters, juices and juice drinks, teas, coffees, energy and sports drinks. Through the world's largest beverage distribution system, consumers in more than 200 countries enjoy the Company's beverages at a rate exceeding 1.4 billion servings each day. For more information about The Coca-Cola Company, please visit our website at

About IMD

IMD is a leading global business school based in Switzerland. For over 60 years IMD has worked with leading global companies to develop and retain management talent. IMD is the "global meeting place": the most international of business schools worldwide. IMD offers learning based on innovative and highly relevant research. Learning that can be applied to business challenges - immediately. This is IMD's "Real World. Real Learning." approach. (

The Financial Times (2007) ranked IMD's executive education programs 1st outside the USA and 3rd worldwide. IMD's MBA was ranked 1st worldwide in the 2007 FT "Ranking of Rankings", the combined global annual MBA rankings from Business Week, The Economist, Financial Times, Forbes and the Wall Street Journal.

If you would like to conduct an interview with IMD President Peter Lorange or Professor John Walsh, please contact Alessandro Sofia, IMD Communications, by phone at +41 21 618 0636 or by email at

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Source: The Coca-Cola Company