Robert Woodruff is famous for being the entrepreneur who made the success of the Coca-Cola Company possible.
In 1923, when Robert’s father Ernest Woodruff bought Coca-Cola from Asa Candler, he became the company president. Robert Woodruff introduced Coca-Cola to the world.
Robert Woodruff – From Selling Ice to Peddling Coke
Robert Woodruff was born in Columbus, Georgia. He was educated at the Georgia Military Academy.
Woodruff also attended Emory University for two years (1908 – 1910). In the year 1910, he became a salesman at General Fire Extinguisher Company. The father of Robert Woodruff, Ernest Woodruff, saw the boy’s potential and hired him as a buyer and salesman for the Atlantic Ice Company.
A few years later, Robert was already negotiating with the head of White Motor Company, Walter White, to purchase some truck to replace the horse-drawn wagons of his father’s company. Upon hearing about this, Ernest got mad and fired him. Fortunately for Robert Woodruff, Walter White hired him as a salesman for his company. In no time, he was able to move up to the ranks and became vice president and general manager in 1919.
In 1923, Robert’s father asked him to move back to Atlanta and help with a company his firm has purchased 4 years ago – Coca Cola. The company was in bad shape and needed a new and innovative management style.
Robert Woodruff became president of Coca Cola and being the genius that he is in marketing, he saw new and innovative ways to market the company not just locally but all over the world.
He introduced Coca Cola for the first time in 1928 at the Olympics in Amsterdam. He also innovated ways on how Coca Cola would be distributed to make it easier for people to drink whether they are at home or away. These strategies made Coca Cola, not just a huge success but a very big part of the lives of people today.
In 1985, Coca Cola posted $7.36 billion dollars in sales.
The Robert Woodruff Quick Bio
Full Name: Robert Winship Woodruff
Birth Date: December 6, 1889
Birth Place: Columbus, Georgia
Company: The Coca-Cola Company
Key Success Traits: innovative entrepreneur, open to new strategies, visionary, persistent and consistent achiever
Robert Woodruff was also known as a great philanthropist. Throughout his lifetime he has given approximately $350 million dollars – most of it anonymously – for the benefit of art, medicine and education.