Michael Smith
Principal & Founder
The Smith Group LLC

Daytime MBA

Class of 1992

Council Affiliation:

Minority Alumni Advisory Board






Greater Atlanta Area


Earlier this year, Michael left The Coca-Cola Company after 23 years, where he was an accomplished, results-driven senior executive with an extensive track record of developing and leading executive and multidisciplinary teams in complex growth strategies, operational transformation, identifying revenue benefits and cost savings, and executing strategic cultural change initiatives. An effective communicator, Michael has spent the last 15 years as a trusted advisor to both C-suite executives and closely held nonprofit organizations. His executive-level experience has also included leadership roles in nonprofit, domestic and international fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG), and digital technology industries.

In his most recent role, Michael led a 15+ member cross-functional team as the Vice President, Strategy Development for the North American Business unit of The Coca-Cola Company. While at The Coca-Cola Company, Michael's responsibilities included leading the organization in the development of group-level business growth and innovation strategies, executing a portfolio of digital transformation and enterprise-level capability initiatives, and aligning the business unit long-term growth objectives with external social enterprise goals and partnerships, in strategic communication across internal and external audiences. Prior to this role, Michael spent 20 years in various positions of increasing responsibility and leadership, including Chief of Staff for The Coca-Cola Company Chief Marketing Officer, VP Category Marketing & Portfolio Strategy, and VP Sustainability & Wellness for North American Business unit, to name a few.

Before that he worked with BellSouth Mobile Data as an International Marketing and Business Development Director for three years, where he was an integral part of new business startups and partnerships in Australia, the Netherlands, and Belgium, holding leadership roles in the areas of sales, marketing, and business development.

Michael has also spent the last seven years on the board of Sheltering Arms, a 28M USD nonprofit focused on early learning and education. For the last three years Michael has presided over the 33-member board and the Executive Committee as Board Chair. In addition to leading a major multi-year board effectiveness initiative, Michael co-led, with the CEO of Sheltering Arms, the development and delivery of the five-year strategic plan and a multi-year capability blueprint for accelerating regional and national leadership, the completion of a capital campaign to fund a 16th education center, a major effort to relaunch the organization's brand and external presence, and a set of financial initiatives (investment policy, NMTC, etc.) to increase operating flexibility.

Michael holds a bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering from Georgia Tech and an MBA from Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business. Michael is a life member of Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity and the National Black MBA Association.