Coca-Cola names Kent to chief executive position

ATLANTA Coca-Cola Co.’s president and chief operating officer is set to become the beverage giant’s new chief executive officer.

Muhtar Kent will replace Neville Isdell as CEO on July 1, 2008, the company announced Thursday.

Kent, who has broad experience in international company management, said he would continue an existing strategy of reviving brands, expanding overseas operations and acquiring new brands. He was named president of Coca-Cola International in January 2006 and appointed president and COO of the company in December 2006.

Kent will continue to serve as president of the company when he acquires the chief executive position next year.

Isdell will continue in the dual capacity of chairman of the board of directors and CEO until that date and remain chairman until April 2009.

“The opportunity to lead The Coca-Cola Company is an extraordinary honor, and I am grateful to the board for the confidence it has placed in me,” Kent said. “I look forward to building on the strong foundation for sustainable growth that we have set in place for the Coca-Cola system around the world.”

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