Roberto Goizuetta was born in Havana in 1931 and emigrated to the United States with his family in 1960.
Goizuetta earned his bachelor's degree from Yale University, and in 1953 he returned to Havana to join his family's sugar business. Soon thereafter, he took a job with the Coca Cola Co., and was made technical director of the company's five Cuban bottling plants.
After defecting to the U.S., he went to work for Coca Cola in Miami, and in 1964 he moved to the company's Atlanta headquarters where he was made vice president for technical affairs and development in 1965. Goizuetta was named president of the company in 1979 and took the additional title of chairman three years later.
Goizuetta remained at the helm of Coke until his death from lung cancer in 1997.
Goizuetta, reportedly the first CEO to become a billionaire at a company his family did not establish, endowed a foundation which supports education and other charitable endeavors. Emory University named its business school in his honor.