Having his Coke and eating it too

Having his Coke and eating it too

Coca-Cola Amatil boss Terry Davis clearly thinks he is on to a bottler, after selling $1.95 million worth of shares in the fizzy drink maker to buy a property in New Zealand. According to Coke, Davis, who quits next year, plans to use the money to buy a sheep and cattle farm.

That should put him out of the line of fire from an unhappy customer, Coles, with whom Davis has been clashing over the price of cola.

Davis got just over $13 each for his 150,000 shares, but he could have done even better had he cashed in the chips before the fizz went out of Coke stock.

At the $15.25 Coke shares were fetching in March, he would have pocketed an extra $331,000.

Davis retains 400,000 shares.

Wirth doing well

How much is Olivia Wirth? Qantas shareholders will have to wait until next year at the earliest to find out. The flying roo's chief spin doctor (and girlfriend of union heavyweight Paul Howes) was on Wednesday promoted to "group executive brand, marketing and corporate affairs" as part of a rejig. However, she has lost government affairs, with Qantas bringing Wirth's camel-ride comrade and former John Hewson staffer Andrew Parker across from international partner Emirates.

To make room, marketing boss Lewis Pullen, who spearheaded the much-mocked "You're the reason we fly" ad campaign, has been handed his parachute and farewelled.

But the big question for shareholders, frequent flyers and the blue-collar members of Howes' Australian Workers Union is: does the promotion put Wirth among the key management personnel whose pay packets must be disclosed in the annual report?

Qantas declined to say. And with Wirth taking her new job in July, after the end of the current financial year, Qantas will not

have to declare her position until next year's report lobs in September 2014.

A matter of bats

A bare backside has been the downfall of many a miner, and now Rio Tinto executives have a new reason to beware of naked hindquarters. On Wednesday Environment Minister Tony Burke gave conditional approval to Rio's controversial $1.5 billion South of Embley bauxite mine on Cape York. As part of the approval, Rio must put together plans to protect sea and land wildlife.

In addition to turtles, dolphins, dugongs and whales, Rio must protect birds and bats - specifically Saccolaimus saccolaimus nudicluniatus, the bare-rumped sheathtail bat. Little is known of the critically endangered creature, which has yet to be sighted near the proposed mine.

But its living arrangements seem to mirror those of a mob of fly-in-fly-out mining workers.

Clustering together in groups of between three and 40, the bats rise in the early evening to begin foraging. They fly high, dropping from the sky when they spot potential prey, and then return to a cave or tree hollow to sleep away the day.

But despite Burke's approval, the bats (if any) might continue to slumber undisturbed by dozers. The Queensland government's decision to approve the mine has been challenged in court by the Wilderness Society, which reckons associated shipping traffic risks trashing the Great Barrier Reef.

And even if it wins in court, Rio may can the project. Already a year late, it faces internal competition from other projects at a company far less gung-ho about spending money than it was 18 months ago.

Via the big smoke

Which senior media executive was nearly marooned midway between Sydney and Canberra after stepping off his company's bus for a well-deserved gasper on the way to Tuesday's federal budget lock-up? Apparently the bus was on the road before anyone noticed he was missing.

Got a tip?


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