Last Updated on May 5, 2021
Coca-Cola’s chief attorney, responsible for orchestrating a plan to demand race quotas in outside counsel, resigned and was rehired by the CEO on a $666,666 per month salary.
Bradley Gayton resigned last month as general counsel of Coca-Cola. Gayton, in his previous position as chief lawyer for Coca-Cola, was responsible for creating a plan that would place penalties on outside legal counsel if they failed to meet racial diversity quotas when working for the company. Announced in January, Gayton said that all law firms must commit at least 30% of billed time from “diverse attorneys” and at least half of that time from black attorneys.
However, following his resignation, the plan has been put on a temporary pause, with a spokesman for Coca-Cola saying that his replacement, Monica Howard Douglas, will be reviewing the plan. “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 Scott Leith. “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.”
The “pause” was initially hailed as a victory in the culture war battle over Coca-Cola, with some on the right seemingly under the impression that the much-criticized diversity training program from Coca-Cola, unearthed by Karlyn Borysenko in February, had been cancelled. Action against the diversity quotas regarding outside lawyers seems to have been sparked from an open letter published by the Project on Fair Representation, declaring that Coca-Cola’s “racial quota requirements” were “unlawful,” not any conservative backlash.
Following the pause, much of Gayton’s diversity plan would likely “be salvaged” by Douglas, although the quotas themselves would not likely return. At the time of writing, it is unclear as to what is the current state of Coca-Cola’s diversity training, and general commitment to anti-white policies, but it is unlikely that what appears to be an evasion of potential legal action in one small area is indicative of a wider shift in company policy.
In fact, Gayton remains employed by the company. Despite resigning from his position as chief counsel, he is currently contracted as a legal consultant to Coca-Cola’s CEO, James Quincey. Dayton was hired with a hefty sign-on fee of $4 million, and a monthly consulting fee of $666,666, according to a securities filing from April 21. Coca-Cola also seems likely to continue their anti-conservative attacks on American values across the board. Last month, they joined with a number of other corporations in attacking a piece of election integrity legislation from their home state of Georgia, which critics claimed was designed to stop black voters from accessing the polls.