The Coca-Cola Company Names Muhtar Kent President And Chief Operating Officer
Citing Kent’s System Experience and Success Leading International Growth, Board Elects Veteran Executive to Oversee Global Operations
CEO Isdell Says He Looks Forward to “Winning” with Kent in the Marketplace
Atlanta, December 07, 2006 - The Coca-Cola Company today announced Muhtar Kent has been named president and chief operating officer, effective immediately. In his new capacity, Kent is responsible for all of the company’s operating units worldwide. He continues reporting to Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Neville Isdell.
“For most of his 28 years in our system, I have worked closely with Muhtar,” said Isdell. “He is an excellent and focused leader and I look forward to working, and winning, with him as we take The Coca-Cola Company to a future of sustained growth.”
Isdell noted Kent’s significant success driving the company’s international operations through 2006. At the end of the third quarter, fully 95 percent of the company’s 2006 unit case volume growth has come from its international markets.
“Since his return to our company, his ability to realize growth across the entire non-alcoholic beverage sector in our key international markets has been central to our success. Additionally, Muhtar’s close working relationship with our bottling partners has enabled us to capture marketplace opportunities and improve the way we do business,” Isdell said.
All of the company’s operating group presidents – Alex Cummings (Africa), J. A. M. “Sandy” Douglas (North America), Glenn Jordan (East, South Asia and Pacific Rim), Dominique Reiniche (European Union) and Jose Octavio Reyes (Latin America) – will report to Kent. In addition, Irial Finan, president of the company’s Bottling Investments Group and Jerry Wilson, senior vice president in charge of the company’s McDonald’s Division, will report to Kent.
The company’s global function heads – Mary Minnick (Marketing, Strategy and Innovation), Gary Fayard (Finance), Geoff Kelly (Legal), Tom Mattia (Public Affairs and Communications) and Cynthia McCague (Human Resources), along with Ingrid Saunders Jones (External Affairs) and Leslie Novos, chief executive officer of Beverage Partners Worldwide (BPW) – will continue reporting to Isdell.
“Our full executive leadership team is focused on driving financial and reputational growth for the company. Without doubt, Muhtar is a man of the highest integrity and deepest skills,” said Isdell. “He will put his skills to work accelerating the on-the-ground execution of our key value-building priorities in each of the more than 200 countries where we do business.”
“The Board believes Neville and Muhtar have both a shared vision and a solid working relationship,” added James D. Robinson III, chairman of the Board Committee on Directors and Corporate Governance. “They represent a strong team that will drive growth and shareholder value.”
Kent returned to The Coca-Cola Company in May 2005 as president and chief operating officer of the North Asia, Eurasia and Middle East Group and was named president, Coca-Cola International in January 2006. He joined The Coca-Cola Company in 1978 and has held a variety of marketing and operational roles through his career. In 1985, he was appointed general manager of Coca-Cola Turkey and Central Asia. From 1989 to 1995, Kent was president of the East Central Europe Division and senior vice president of Coca-Cola International, overseeing 23 countries.
From 1995 to 1998, Kent was managing director of Coca-Cola Amatil – Europe, with bottling operations in 12 countries. From 1999 until his return to The Coca-Cola Company, he was president and chief executive officer of Efes Beverage Group, one of Europe’s largest international beverage businesses, and the majority shareholder of Turkish bottler Coca-Cola Icecek. In addition to taking Efes Breweries International public on the London Stock Exchange, Kent led the Efes group to triple digit revenue growth and a 250 percent increase in market capitalization.
Kent holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Economics from Hull University, England and a Master of Science degree in Administrative Sciences from London City University.
The Coca-Cola Company is the world’s largest beverage company. Along with Coca-Cola®, recognized as the world’s most valuable brand, the company markets four of the world’s top five soft drink brands, including Diet Coke®, Fanta® and Sprite®, and a wide range of other beverages, including diet and light soft drinks, waters, juices and juice drinks, teas, coffees, energy and sports drinks. Through the world’s largest beverage distribution system, consumers in over 200 countries enjoy the company’s beverages at a rate exceeding 1.3 billion servings each day. For more information about The Coca-Cola Company, please visit our web site at www.thecoca-colacompany.com.
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