Coca-Cola pauses controversial diversity plan after abrupt departure of company’s top lawyer – By Michael Lee (Washington Examiner) / May 4 2021
Coca-Cola has temporarily abandoned its diversity plan after general counsel Bradley Gayton, the architect of the company’s diversity policy, abruptly resigned last month.
“When there is a leadership change, it takes time for the new leader to review the current status of the team, organization, and initiatives,” said Coke spokesman Scott Leith, who said incoming general counsel Monica Howard Douglas will be reviewing the plan. “Monica is fully committed to the notions of equity and diversity in the legal profession, and we fully expect she will take the time necessary to thoughtfully review any plans going forward.”
Gayton announced a plan in January to punish outside law firms that did not meet Coca-Cola’s diversity standards, threatening to slash their fees or stop doing business with the firms completely.
The plan required outside law firms to have at least 30% of their bill time come from “diverse attorneys,” half of whom had to be black.