Coca-Cola CEO James Quincey named chairman, Muhtar Kent to retire

USA – The Coca-Cola Company Chief Executive James Quincey has been elected as the 14th chairman of The Coca-Cola Company, succeeding Muhtar Kent, who plans to retire in April 2019.

Quincey currently serves as the President and CEO of the company and his appointment to chairman and CEO position will be ratified at the company’s annual meeting in April 2019.

Kent’s retirement comes after 40-year career with the Coca-Cola system and he will remain as the company’s chairman through the 2019 annual meeting, where he will not stand for re-election as a director.

Having a Bachelor of Science degree in Economics from the University of Hull in England and a Master of Science degree in Administrative Sciences from Cass Business School, he served as both chairman and CEO from 2009 until 2017 and continued as chairman after Quincey became CEO.


“One of the most important jobs of a Chairman is to ensure that a strong leadership succession plan is in place. I’m delighted that the board has elected James as Chairman. He is the right leader to take the Coca-Cola system to the next level and through the next decade.”

Mukhtar Kent, outgoing Chairman, Coca-Cola

Kent’s journey at Coca-Cola started on a delivery truck, served in several marketing and operations leadership positions and became General Manager of Coca-Cola Turkey and Central Asia in 1985.

In 1989, he served as President of the Company’s East Central Europe Division and Senior Vice President of Coca-Cola International, with responsibility for 23 countries.

He was named Managing Director of Coca-Cola Amatil-Europe in 1995 covering bottling operations in 12 countries, then became President and CEO of the Efes Beverage Group, a diversified beverage company with Coca-Cola and beer operations across Southeast Europe, Turkey and Central Asia.

After his Coca-Cola come-back in 2005, President and Chief Operating Officer of the Company’s North Asia, Eurasia and Middle East Group and later appointed President of Coca-Cola International.

In 2006, he was named President and Chief Operating Officer, and he became CEO in 2008.

“One of the most important jobs of a chairman is to ensure that a strong leadership succession plan is in place,” Kent said.

“I’m delighted that the board has elected James as chairman.

He is the right leader to take the Coca-Cola system to the next level and through the next decade.”

Quincey joined Coca-Cola in 1996 and before becoming CEO on May 1, 2017, he led all of the company’s operating units worldwide as President and Chief Operating Officer from August 2015.

Under his leadership, the Europe Group strategically expanded its brand portfolio and improved execution across the geography.

He was instrumental in leading the merger of Coca-Cola Enterprises, Coca-Cola Iberian Partners and Coca-Cola Erfrischungsgetranke AG to form Coca-Cola European Partners Plc., the world’s largest independent Coca-Cola bottler based on net revenues.

His contributions are said to have helped drive solid top-line growth and expanded the company’s leading market share position.

Apart from leading the acquisition of Innocent juice in 2009 and Jugos de Valle brand, he also served as President of the Mexico Division from 2005 to 2008 and as President of the South Latin Division from 2003.

“I’m honored that the board of directors has asked me to serve as chairman of the company,” Quincey said.

“I appreciate the years of mentorship, encouragement and insights I’ve gained from Muhtar.

I also join my fellow directors in thanking Sam for his many years of service,and I look forward to working with Mel as she steps into an expanded role as lead independent director.”

The company has also announced that Sam Nunn will step down after 22 years as a director and that the board has elected Maria Elena Lagomasino as Lead Independent Director to Succeed Nunn.

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