During Bradley Gayton’s brief tenure as the chief lawyer at the Coca-Cola Co., at least 11 members of the legal department, including several in-house leaders, parted ways with the Atlanta-based beverage giant.
The departures during Gayton’s eight-month stint as general counsel raise more questions than answers, much as Gayton’s abrupt resignation did last month. Gayton signed a $12 million agreement to serve as an independent contractor and consultant to Coca-Cola CEO James Quincey for a year. A Coca-Cola employee told Corporate Counsel that Gayton might have pushed too hard, too soon, to consolidate the company’s global legal operations, restructure the legal department and enact new diversity guidelines for Coca-Cola’s outside law firms.
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