“…Public spirited, Impeccably honest, hands-on, innovative, and “bottom-line oriented…”
Maynard Jackson, Three-term Mayor of Atlanta”

“There are none in my thirty-three years in the Coca-Cola business that have exemplified higher standards.”
Tom Carney, Coca-Cola veteran (now retired) in personal letter to John Reid


    John Reid graduated with a Masters from MIT forty years ago, and has been successfully tackling huge issues – most of them directly relevant to his passion for system design – ever since. He has been in the C-suite in the corporate, non-profit, city, and state government worlds.

    His career has taken him to virtually every corner of The Coca-Cola Company. He was past Chairman of Cross-Cultural Solutions, a global non-profit enabling volunteering abroad; Chief Administrative Officer of the City of Atlanta; Deputy Director of Operations for The State of New York; COO of The Edison Project, now Edison Learning, the grandfather of the Charter School Movement; CEO of LearnNow, sold to Edison, and CEO of Comet Systems, one of the early innovators in internet technologies and search toolbars.

    He has traveled extensively, leading teams and speaking publicly about complex, often sensitive issues to a variety of stakeholders. He has collaborated with doctors in Latin America, government officials in Washington and Moscow, think tanks in Brussels and Singapore and Slovenia, peer global companies in food and beverage, and retail customers throughout the world.

    He is married to Karen Flanders-Reid, and has five children and four grandchildren. John currently serves on the Boards of the Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta, where he is Chair and The Georgia Partnership for Excellence in Education. In addition to the Board service above, his past Board service has included The Princeton Review,, The Duke University School of the Environment, the Emory Center for Ethics, Research Atlanta, the Atlanta Convention and Visitors Bureau, the Georgia Conservancy, and the Midtown Alliance. He and his family live in Atlanta.

    Read about John’s accomplishments at

    Contact John at


The story that the titles and dates simply cannot capture.

Time after time, JCR has been asked to join or lead teams whose job was to meet challenges – both problems and opportunities. He has risen to those challenges and has delivered outcomes. The outcomes have been on time, within budget, and designed in such a way that the solutions were durable – sustainable over time.
John C Reid, 2014

High Growth at Coca-Cola USA

    His career started with Coca-Cola, and he was there during its ascendancy to the very top of the global food and beverage industry. He served 27 years there – and retired in 2014. His career began in Coca-Cola USA, where he was VP Strategic Planning, VP Fountain Operations, VP Fountain Marketing, SVP Marketing, and SVP Business Development. Coca-Cola enjoyed explosive growth over these years, successfully introducing Diet Coke and Sprite,

    Called by the Mayor

      He was asked by the three-term Mayor of Atlanta to lead the Mayor’s team – and he answered the call. The outcome? Outstanding progress for the City: the administration was hailed for getting the 1996 Olympics for Atlanta, for building a fifth terminal for the airport, for resolving a major dispute with a solution known widely as “Freedom Park” and “Freedom Parkway”, for revamping neighborhood planning, and more generally for preparing the City for the greatness it now enjoys.

      Called to help change public education

        He left Coca-Cola in 1996 to answer another call – the challenge of public education. He was asked to apply his systems design, operational and team-building skills by leading “The Edison Project”. Their challenge was to literally alter the face of public education by building schools that were very different, and much improved, from the norm in public education. JCR met the challenge. Working for Benno Schmidt, the former President of Yale University, who was Chairman of Edison, he built a team and the team designed a methodology for operating a national school system – which thrives and continues to transform public education to this day. He was elected President of Edison in January, 1998.

        Building Teams in Start-Ups

          After Edison, he took on four additional start-up challenges – a non-profit, a two technology companies, and one education company. He grew them all and each was successfully sold. And the non-profit, Cross Cultural Solutions, is today one of the leading organizations in the world supporting international volunteering.

          The Early Days of the Internet

            One of the technology companies, Comet Systems, was a Manhattan-based start-up and a leader in the field of client-side software – distributed via a simple download that could be accomplished in seconds through a narrowband connection. Comet distributed over 75 million clients while JCR was CEO, and innovated aggressively in the area of search and search toolbars.

            Called by a Governor

              After orchestrating the sale of his fifth start-up, JCR was honored to be asked to join the administration of the incoming Governor of the State of New York. As Assistant Secretary of Education, he had oversight responsibility for all New York State Higher Education, especially CUNY and SUNY. He was further honored when the Governor, by Executive Order, asked JCR to serve as the Executive Director of his Commission on Higher Education, whose mission was to chart a course for New York higher education for the 21st century. Based on the enormous success of this Commission, he was asked to serve as the Executive Director of the New York State Commission on Property Tax Relief, and he was promoted to be Deputy Director of State Operations, a position which gave him oversight responsiblity for all 80 state agencies, reporting to the head of government, the Director of Operations. He served two governors.

              Returning to Coke in Global Leadership

                After this second major period of government service, JCR returned to The Coca-Cola Company to lead all education, training and leadership development of this enormous global enterprise. As Global Director of Coca-Cola University, he had to design, and then implement, systemic approaches which allowed the Company to ensure outstanding capability-building throughout the world.

                After this sevice, JCR was promoted by Coca-Cola to a global vice presidency – Vice President of Corporate Social Responsibility. In this assignment, the challenges were significant and the outcomes were tangible. Under the mantle of the authority of the CEO, JCR designed and led the implementation of a system-wide, cross-functional strategy to tackle head-on the challenges of obesity. Aggressive innovations in packages such as the “mini-can”; in sweeteners such as stevia; in labeling such as front-of-pack labeling, and in active, healthy living such as the Company’s global Associate Well-Being Program; all of these and more were the direct result of JCR’s leadership.