It has been confirmed that the chief executive officer of Coca Cola, 64-year-old Muhtar Kent, will step down from his position and hand over the reins to his current deputy James Quincy in May, after eight successful years leading the world’s largest beverage company.
Mr Kent will continue to work with the company as a chairman once he leaves his current position, when Quincy will bring his 20 valuable years of experience within the company to the table as he takes a step up to the main role with the $180 billion giants.
It is certainly shaping up to be a very different 2017 for the beverage industry, following the surprising news last week that Howard Schultz would be stepping down as chief executive officer of Starbucks, with both Muhtar Kent and Howard Schultz leaving big boots to fill.
“It has been the most wonderful and unique privilege to serve as chairman and CEO of our great company over the past eight years” commented Mr Kent in his statement on Friday morning. “Having worked closely with James during the past 10 years of his 20-year career with our company, I know that his vast industry knowledge, expertise with our brands, values and system, coupled with an acute understanding of evolving consumer tastes, make him the ideal candidate to effectively lead our company and bottling system.”
The change comes at a time when companies such as Coca Cola are having to deal with pressures coming from health-focused consumers, however many professionals have been very supportive of the move, and the transition that occurs in 2017 is expected to run smoothly with James Quincy seeming the ideal candidate to take the company forward.
Muhtar Kent will surely be missed as the CEO, but he will be staying on with the company so there are no plans for retirement just yet.