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Richard Daley becomes Coca-Cola director

By Laurie Bennett

December 16, 2011 at 5:37am

Former Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley has joined one of the wealthiest, most influential corporate boards in America.

Citing Daley’s “significant public policy expertise and experience in creating sustainable growth opportunities,” Coca-Cola CEO Muhtar Kent announced the appointment on Thursday.

Coca-Cola is one of more than 20 public companies in the U.S. with at least two billionaire directors.

Leading the list, with five, is Berkshire Hathaway.

Richard M. Daley
Richard M. Daley

Coca-Cola’s board has two billionaires on board - investor Herbert A. Allen Jr. and IAC/InterActiveCorp Chairman Barry Diller.

While Allen and Diller are the richest members, Coke’s other directors are no slouches.

Warren Buffett’s son Howard is a board member, as are multimillionaires Donald Keough of Allen & Company and James B. Williams, former chairman and CEO of SunTrust Banks.

Former U.S. Sen. Sam Nunn is also a director, as is Peter V. Ueberroth, former Major League Baseball commissioner and chairman of the U.S. Olympic Committee.

Service on the board provides more than an opportunity to interact with such movers and shakers. Base pay for directors in 2010 was $110,000, plus $120,000 in stock.

Since leaving City Hall, Daley has been of counsel at the law firm Katten Muchin Rosenman and managing principal of Tur Partners, an investment firm, where his son Patrick is a principal. He’s also a senior advisor to JPMorgan Chase.

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