The surprising story of ex-Mexican president Vicente Fox, who started as a Coca-Cola delivery worker and worked his way up to run Coca-Cola Mexico

Sarah Jacobs/Business InsiderVicente Fox sips a Coca-Cola.
  • Former Mexican president Vicente Fox led Coca-Cola‘s charge in taking on Pepsi in Mexico in the 1960s, starting out working as a delivery worker.
  • Fox would drink up to 12 Coca-Colas a day when he started out, even chugging a Coke with a raw egg cracked inside for breakfast as he delivered bottles of the beverage.
  • By the early ’70s, Coca-Cola was the dominant soda brand in Mexico, and Fox was the top executive in the country.
  • In Business Insider’s new podcast “Household Name,” Fox explains how he spent his early days working his way up the ranks of Coca-Cola. To hear the full story, subscribe to the podcast for free here.

While former Mexican president Vicente Fox has made headlines in recent years as he has taken on President Donald Trump, the two men have one thing in common: a love for Coca-Cola.

However, while Trump is simply a soda lover, Fox got his start working for Coca-Cola.

Fox told Business Insider’s new podcast, “Household Name,” that when he started working at Coca-Cola in 1964, he was drinking eight to 12 bottles of Coke a day. Once he gave up a desk job to drive around on a truck, delivering Coca-Cola across the country, he would even drink a Coke with a raw egg cracked into the bottle for breakfast.

Vicente Fox 9748Sarah Jacobs/Business Insider

As Fox’s Coca-Cola consumption heated up, so did Coke’s competition with Pepsi. In the early ’60s, Pepsi had almost twice the market share as Coca-Cola in Mexico.

As the underdog, Coca-Cola workers were willing to do whatever it took to win.

“We would punch tires to Pepsi trucks or we would take away … the empty Pepsi bottles, take them out of the cooler, the refrigerator,” Fox said. “Very competitive, and the whole idea was to get there first.”

Listen to the full story: on the “Household Name” podcast.

While Fox started out on the front line, delivering Coca-Cola, he became a crucial player in Coca-Cola’s goal to defeat Pepsi in the Mexican market.

On the ground, in addition to punching trucks’ tires and removing empty Pepsi bottles before they could be refilled, Fox and others delivering Coca-Cola would win over shops and stadiums with incentives, from cash to coolers. On a national level, the soda giant sponsored the Mexico City Olympics in 1968, followed by an iconic Coca-Cola ad that swept the country in the early ’70s.

“It was extremely competitive,” Fox said. “Extremely aggressive the way you competed for market share and for profits.”

By the ’70s, Coca-Cola had reversed its fortunes, with twice Pepsi’s market share in Mexico. With Coca-Cola beating out Pepsi, Fox stopped delivering soda and rose through the ranks at the company, becoming the chief executive of Coca-Cola Mexico in 1975.

However, he wasn’t content to stick to soda – or even business. In the ’80s, after leaving Coca-Cola, he began to get involved in politics. In 2000, he was elected president of Mexico.

“My first donations that I got to start moving in politics came from people of Coca-Cola, from bottlers of Coca-Cola or the company itself,” Fox said. “So I got a lot of support, not only knowledge, not only great experiences but also they contributed to my campaign at the very beginning.”

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