“It is a logical and natural step for Muhtar to be nominated to the Board of Directors at this time as part of our orderly transition to new leadership that we announced in December,“ said Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Neville Isdell. “It will give Muhtar several months to acclimate himself with his new duties as Director in advance of becoming chief executive officer in July. The entire board looks forward to working with Muhtar as both a Director and our new chief executive officer.“
Mr. Kent returned to The Coca-Cola Company in May 2005 as president of the North Asia, Eurasia and Middle East Group. He was named president of Coca-Cola International in January 2006 and appointed president and chief operating officer of the Company in December 2006. As COO, he has overseen a number of significant initiatives, including the acquisition of glacéau in 2007, key joint ventures and strong volume and double-digit earnings growth.
Mr. Kent first joined The Coca-Cola Company in 1978 and held a variety of marketing and operational roles leading to his appointment as president of the East Central European Division in 1989. He held this position until 1995, overseeing 23 countries where he supervised the re-launch of Coca-Cola throughout East Central Europe in record time and quickly achieved market leadership in that geography, which the Company maintains to this day.
From 1995 to 1998, Mr. Kent was managing director of Coca-Cola Amatil Europe with bottling operations in 12 countries. From 1999 until his return to the Company, Mr. Kent served as president and chief executive officer of the Efes Beverage Group, one of Europe‘s largest international beverage businesses, and managing partner of Coca-Cola Icecek, a public Coca-Cola bottling company with franchises in Turkey and surrounding countries.