Family: Wife Delphine Daft; two children, Alexandra and Nicholas
Residence: Palm Beach, FL
Refusal to address concerns of Walmart Associates
Members of the Organization United for Respect at Walmart (OUR Walmart) and their allies have repeatedly reached out to Douglas Daft for him to listen to their concerns. Mr. Daft has repeatedly ignored these requests. (See here for a detailed list of efforts by Walmart associates to initiate a dialogue with Douglas Daft.)
Shareholders voicing concerns about Mr. Daft’s leadership at Walmart
Walmart shareholders have expressed concern about Daft’s leadership at the company. At Walmart’s 2013 shareholder meeting, shareholders voting against Daft’s re-election included the State of Wisconsin Investment Board; the New York City Pension Funds, which voted against Daft and his fellow Compensation, Nominating and Governance Committee members “for failing to ensure adequate board independence”; and CalSTRS, which voted against all of Walmart’s nominees for its Board of Directors.
In December 2010, Daft and his wife purchased a 4,100 square-foot oceanfront condo in Palm Beach, FL for $4.7 million.
Daft is said to have had homes in the U.K. and in Switzerland.
Daft was handsomely compensated as CEO of Coca-Cola. In his last two full years as Chairman and CEO, he was paid a base salary of $1.5 million and annual bonuses of $4 million.
Educational and professional background
- Bachelor’s degree, Mathematics, University of New England (Australia)
- Post-graduate degree, Administration, University of New South Wales (Australia)
- Honorary Doctorate, International Law, Thunderbird University (Glendale, AZ)
Coca Cola Company, Inc.
Daft had a 35-year career at the Coca-Cola Company, and retired in May 2004 after four years as CEO.
Daft joined Coke in 1969 in his native Sydney, Australia, then worked throughout Asia for the company, living in Indonesia, Singapore, Hong Kong and Japan. He was also heavily involved in building up Coke’s business in China. He became part of upper management in 1982, in charge of the Far East division. He moved to Coke’s Atlanta headquarters in 1991 to take charge of the company’s operations in Asia and the Pacific, and later added on responsibility for the Middle East and Africa. He was elected President and CEO in 1999, and became Chairman of the Board in 2000.
Daft retired in 2004, seven months earlier than he had originally announced. The company faced multiple difficulties and scandals under Daft’s leadership, including a management drain: Ten senior executives left during Daft’s time at the top. By the time Daft left the company, Coke was under investigation by both the FBI and the SEC for marketing fraud and “channel stuffing” in Japan during the time period that Daft was in charge there. (Channel stuffing refers to a type of accounting fraud in which the company shipped excessive concentrate to bottlers, often bribing them to keep quiet, and writing this into the books as a true representation of sales of the product.)
Additionally, shareholder Allan Selbst filed a class-action lawsuit against Daft and the company in 2005 claiming that Daft made “overly rosy statements” about the company. Some news reports suggested that Daft fired internal whistleblowers, stating that he “angrily rebuffed a subordinate’s attempt to tell him about illegal business practices in Japan.” Under Daft, revenues fell; stocks in his first fiscal year as CEO dropped from $61 to $47 a share. There were also two significant restructurings of the company under Daft, in 2000 and 2003, during which thousands were laid off.
Daft sat on the board of directors at McGraw-Hill between 2003 and 2012 and at Green Mountain Coffee Roasters between 2009 and 2012. In May 2012, he left the Green Mountain board prior to the end of his term, citing “personal reasons.”
Corporate advisor positions
- Longreach Group: Advisory Board. Private equity firm investing in Japan and China.
- Thomas H. Lee Partners: Advisory Council. Boston-based private equity firm.
- N.M. Rothschild & Sons Ltd – European Advisory Council. Global financial advisory firm.
- Tisbury Capital: Former member of Advisory board
Federal election contributions
In 2014, Daft gave $5,000 to House GOP leader John Boehner. In 2012, Daft donated $7,500 to Republican candidates for federal office, including Mitt Romney and former Rep. Allen West (D-FL). During his tenure as CEO of Coca-Cola, Daft gave $16,250 to the Coca-Cola Political Action Committee. He also gave $2,500 to the PAC of the trade association Grocery Manufacturers of America in 2002. He was once a member of the GMA Board of Directors.
In the 2004 election cycle, Daft gave $1,000 to Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R-GA) and $2,000 to then-President George W. Bush (R).
- Williamstown Theater Festival: Trustee Emeriti
- Oxford University Centre for Corporate Reputation: Visiting Fellow
- Thunderbird School of Global Management: Board of Fellows
- Churchill Archives Center, Churchill College, Cambridge University: Chairman of the Advisory Board
 As of June 6, 2014, Mr. Daft owned 39,254 shares of Walmart common stock. (Source is this Form 4.) As of December 17, 2014, Walmart’s share price was $84.23. At this share price, the value of Mr. Daft’s Walmart stock is approximately $3.3 million.