Coca-Cola names new CEO as Muhtar Kent steps down after eight years

James Quincey, Coca-Cola's president and chief operating officer has been promoted to a CEO role, effective 1 May 2017. Meanwhile, current CEO Muhtar Kent (pictured right) will remain as chairman of the board, said Coke in a statement on Friday.

The management shake up is part of the Atlanta-based company's senior leadership succession plan.

“It has been the most wonderful and unique privilege to serve as chairman and CEO of our great company over the past eight years,” Kent said. Kent, who had served as both chairman and CEO of Coca-Cola for the past eight years said the transition comes at a time of important evolution for company.

"Our journey to refocus on our core business model of building strong global brands, enhancing sustainable customer value and leading a strong, dedicated franchise system is well under way. During Quincey’ time as president and COO, he has further demonstrated his deep understanding of the dynamics of our business and what it takes to win in the marketplace,” he added.

Quincey (pictured left), was named president and COO of the company in August 2015.  Earlier this year, he put in place a new international operating structure and leadership team to make the company more efficient and effective at the local levels, helping its operating units become faster and more agile, said the company.

Throughout his career at Coca-Cola, Quincey has shown leadership in addressing consumer changes by expanding product offerings, introducing smaller package sizes, and most recently, driving systematic portfolio reformulation to reduce added sugar with over 200 initiatives in progress.

He joined the company in 1996 as director of learning strategy for the Latin America Group. Prior to joining Coca-Cola, he was a partner in strategy consulting at The Kalchas Group, a spin off from Bain & Company and McKinsey.

Warren Buffett, chairman and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway, who's also a shareholder praised the promotion, adding he believes that Coca-Cola has made "a smart investment in its future with his (Quincey) selection.”

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