WSJ: Coca-Cola CEO Muhtar Kent to Step Down Next Year
WSJ: Coca-Cola CEO Muhtar Kent to Step Down Next Year

As of May 2017, president and COO James Quincey will become chief executive.

Coca-Cola Co. announced on Friday the resignation of Muhtar Kent, which will take effect in May 2017. Wall Street Journal reports that the company’s president and operating chief James Quincey will succeed Kent at that time. In the wake of new soda taxes and an industry shifting away from sugary drinks, Quincey will have to help the soda giant find a path forward.

"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," Kent said in a statement.

Kent has served as Coca-Cola’s chief executive since 2008 and will remain chairman after he transitions out of the role. As CEO, Kent has diversified Coke beyond soda with acquisitions such as Energy Brands Inc., maker of Vitaminwater and Smartwater.

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