Chief operating officer will get top Coke role next summer

Coca-Cola’s chief operating officer Muhtar Kent will take over as chief executive of the soft drinks giant next year. Kent, who joined the company in 1978, replaces Neville Isdell in July next year.

Coke says that Isdell, who was appointed chief executive and chairman in June 2004, will remain chairman until the company’s annual meeting in April 2009.

Kent has held a number of marketing and operational roles at Coca-Cola including president of Coca-Cola’s East Central European Division.

He was appointed to role of president of Coca-Cola’s North Asia, Eurasia and Middle East Group in May 2005 before becoming chief operating officer of the soft drinks company in December 2006.

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