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Douglas N. Daft, president and CEO of the Coca-Cola Co., said yesterday that he will retire at the end of 2004. The announcement was in keeping with Daft's intention to keep the job for five years when he took the job.

Coca-Cola said that it will conduct a search outside the company for a replacement, and will also consider Steven J. Heyer, Coke's president and chief operating officer, as a "strong internal candidate."

Since Daft took over at Coke, the company has faced a number of legal problems, including accusations that it rigged at marketing test at Burger King and engaged in some questionable practices such as channel stuffing.
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