Coca-Cola CEO James Quincey on Wednesday called Georgia’s controversial new voting law "unacceptable," and “a step backwards.”
Quincey made the remark in an interview on CNBC. His comments come less than one week after Georgia Gov. Brian KempBrian KempAll 3 men in Arbery killing found guilty of murder Arbery jury asks to see videos, hear 911 call Arbery case goes to jury MORE (R) signed the bill, known as SB202, into law and as more business leaders take a public stance against the new measure.
“Let me be crystal clear and unequivocal, this legislation is unacceptable, it is a step backward and it does not promote principles we have stood for in Georgia, around broad access to voting, around voter convenience, about ensuring election integrity, and this is frankly just a step backwards,” Quincey said.
EXCLUSIVE: Coca-Cola CEO says the restrictive Georgia voting law is "unacceptable...it is a step backward..."— CNBC Now (@CNBCnow) March 31, 2021
Quincey also says "this legislation is wrong, and needs to be remedied, and we will continue to advocate for it both in private and in now even more clearly in public" pic.twitter.com/cdruteEiat
Businesses have faced pressure from activists and threats of boycotts over failing to speak out against SB202.
Coca-Cola said in a statement on Monday “while we are disappointed in the outcome, we don’t see this as the final chapter.”
Quincey didn’t directly answer why Coca-Cola didn’t condemn the law earlier, but noted that it is now taking a more public stance against the bill.
“The reality is many things are improved and done and achieved in private, without having to take a public stance, but in this case it does not work, clearly,” Quincey said. “And so, we’re being more forceful in our public position even more than we were earlier this week, and we’ll continue to advocate for change in Georgia.”
SB202 limits the use of ballot drop boxes and requires photo ID for absentee ballots, among its many restrictions.
The law has already been hit with three lawsuits within one week of its passage.
Delta Air Lines CEO Ed Bastian said in a memo to staff that the voting law was “unacceptable and does not match Delta’s values.”
Citibank’s Chief Financial Officer Mark Manson and head of global public affairs Edward Skyler issued statements condemning the voting law.