Coca-Cola says CEO Muhtar Kent to step down in May
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Bengaluru: Coca-Cola Co said Muhtar Kent would step aside as chief executive on 1 May after about nine years at the helm, and be replaced by chief operating officer James Quincey.
Kent, 64, will continue as chairman, the company said.
Quincey, 51, joined Coca-Cola in 1996 and became chief operating officer in August 2015.
His appointment as CEO was given a vote of confidence by Warren Buffett, CEO of Berkshire Hathaway Inc, which is Coca Cola’s largest shareholder.
“I know James and like him, and believe the company has made a smart investment in its future with his selection,” Buffett said in a statement.
The move comes at a time when Coca-Cola is building its non-carbonated drinks portfolio, cutting costs by selling its bottling operations and stepping up efforts to reduce sugar in its beverages to counter slowing sales.
Coca-Cola still gets about 70% of its volume sales from fizzy drinks.
The company’s shares were up 1.4% at $41.55 in pre-market trading. Reuters