Coca-Cola names Willie Hernandez as its new General Counsel
G. Wilfred “Willie” Hernández, has more than twenty years of experience in the technology sector.
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After serving for two years as the legal director of Facebook's parent company, Meta Platforms Inc., G. Wilfred “Willie” Hernández joins Coca-Cola Co., where he will take over as its new international General Counsel.
With more than two decades of experience in the technology sector and a past in important firms such as International Business Machines Corp., Amazon.com Inc. and Hewlett Packard Enterprise Co., Hernández becomes an important asset for the legal team of the beverage company in its new restructuring process.
Hernández shared the news of his new position on his LinkedIn profile:
I am excited to join one of the most iconic companies and brands, The Coca-Cola Company, as General Counsel, International.
Thanks to the reputation he has built over more than 20 years in the technology industries and his successful time at Facebook, Coca-Cola did not hesitate to think of him to fill the vacancy left by the company's former international legal chief, Benjamin Garren Jr.
“Over my career, I have had the privilege to serve other leading, game-changing companies (Meta Platforms (Facebook), HP, Amazon and IBM) on a global scale. I look forward to extending and expanding my expertise as Coca-Cola writes its next chapter, and I am truly humbled by this opportunity and the trust Monica Howard Douglas and the rest of the senior leadership team have placed in me,” Hernández said in his statement.
Arrival Amid Controversy
After former GC Bradley Gayton resigned from the company after only eight months in the role, Coca-Cola was embroiled in controversy following an announcement by Gayton publishing the firm's plan where the company’s outside counsel should comply with a series of ambitious personnel diversity requirements.
“Coca-Cola, faced with a potential shareholder lawsuit over that initiative, recently confirmed that it never implemented it. The company, which is facing pushback over a $12 million consulting deal it gave Gayton that expires later this month, has said it remains committed to diversity and inclusion,” it was pointed out by Bloomberg Law.
Hernandez, who grew up in East San Jose, California, has been outspoken about his support for diversity and inclusion efforts in the legal industry, something he's no doubt carrying with him in this new adventure.
He takes over for Garren who spent nearly 25 years at the company, where he once served as general counsel for its North American business unit. He also supervised Coca-Cola's compliance, ethics, and privacy teams and spent three years as legal chief of the company's international business prior to his retirement.