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Larry D. Thompson, a former deputy U.S. attorney general who also worked for Coca-Cola’s top law firm, will become the next general counsel at Coke’s rival, PepsiCo. Thompson, 58, will be in charge of PepsiCo’s global legal functions. “I’m looking forward to the opportunities and challenges this job provides. I’m in it for the long haul,” he told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. PepsiCo Chairman and Chief Executive Steve Reinemund praised Thompson for “an impressive array of legal and leadership skills,” the newspaper said Tuesday. Thompson was U.S. Attorney in Atlanta from 1982-86 and twice has worked for King & Spalding, the law firm that has represented Coca-Cola for decades. He counseled Clarence Thomas during his combative confirmation hearing for the U.S. Supreme Court in 1991. In 2001, Thompson was confirmed by the Senate as deputy attorney general, and the following year, President Bush named him to lead the Corporate Fraud Task Force. He also was named by Attorney General John Ashcroft in 2002 to run the National Security Coordination Council. Thompson left the Justice Department last year. At PepsiCo, he replaces David R. Andrews, who is retiring in February. Thompson declined to say whether he had been approached by Coca-Cola, which also is looking for a general counsel to replace Deval Patrick, who is leaving Coke at the end of the year. Both are high-profile black lawyers. “I have a great deal of respect and affection for the Coca-Cola Co.,” Thompson said. “I’m absolutely certain they will find a top-notch lawyer to serve as their general counsel.” Thompson also is on the board of directors of Delta Air Lines and has been a visiting professor at the University of Georgia law school. Recently, he was a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution in Washington. Copyright 2004 Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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