Muhtar Kent of The Coca-Cola Company to Receive Global Leadership Award

Nebraska Senator Chuck Hagel and leading capital markets expert to speak at USCIB gala

Muhtar Kent
Muhtar Kent

New York, N.Y., October 30, 2008Muhtar Kent, president and CEO of The Coca-Cola Company, will be honored with the top award of the United States Council for International Business at a November 12 gala in New York.

Mr. Kent was tapped to head the beverage giant in part because of extensive international experience.  The Coca-Cola Company recently reported solid third-quarter earnings, bucking the downbeat trend among many top companies, thanks in large part to growth in sales outside the United States.

According to USCIB Chairman William G. Parrett, Mr. Kent exemplifies the spirit of the council’s International Leadership Award, which is accorded annually to a top CEO.

“Muhtar Kent’s background demonstrates why U.S.-based companies are increasingly moving into their international ranks to find top talent,” said Mr. Parrett, former CEO of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu.  “The son of a distinguished Turkish diplomat, born in the United States, with extensive overseas experience in marketing and management, Muhtar Kent has demonstrated the global mindset necessary to push one’s company into new markets and into the vanguard of global business.”

Guest speakers at the gala event, which takes place at the Waldorf-Astoria, are scheduled to include Senator Chuck Hagel of Nebraska and Hal Scott, Nomura professor at Harvard Law School and director of the Committee on Capital Markets Regulation.  Senator Hagel is expected to address the results of the November 4 U.S. elections, while Professor Scott will focus on the prospects for global financial system in light of recent market turmoil.  The annual USCIB award gala draws hundreds of business leaders as well as dignitaries from government and diplomatic circles.  More information on the event is available at

Recent recipients of the International Leadership Award include Fisk Johnson of SC Johnson, Terry McGraw of McGraw-Hill, Jean-René Fourtou of Vivendi Universal and Chad Holliday of Dupont.

Mr. Kent joined The Coca-Cola Company in 1978 and has held a variety of marketing and operations roles, both in the U.S. and overseas.  He served as general manager of Coca-Cola Turkey and Central Asia, as president of the company’s East Central Europe division and as senior vice president of Coca-Cola International, with responsibility for 23 countries.  Between 1995 and 1998, Mr. Kent was managing director of Coca-Cola Amatil-Europe, covering bottling operations in 12 countries.

From 1999 until his return to The Coca-Cola Company in 2005, Mr. Kent served as president and CEO of the Efes Beverage Group, the majority shareholder of Turkish bottler Coca-Cola Icecek headquartered in Istanbul.  Under Mr. Kent’s leadership, Efes experienced extraordinary growth, with triple-digit revenue growth and a 250 percent increase in market capitalization.

After serving as president and chief operating officer of The Coca-Cola Company’s North Asia, Eurasia and Middle East group, Mr. Kent served as president of Coca-Cola International through most of 2006, until his appointment as president and chief operating officer of The Coca-Cola Company, overseeing all operations of the business.  He became CEO in July of 2008.

Mr. Kent holds a bachelor of science degree in economics from Hull University, England, and a master of science degree in administrative sciences from London City University.  He was recently named a trustee of the Center for Strategic and International Studies.

Founded in 1945, USCIB promotes an open system of global commerce in which business can flourish and contribute to economic growth, human welfare and protection of the environment.  Its membership encompasses over 300 leading U.S. companies, professional services firms and associations whose combined annual revenues exceed $4 trillion.  As American affiliate of several leading global business groups, USCIB provides business views to policy makers and regulatory authorities worldwide and works to facilitate international trade.


Jonathan Huneke, VP Communications, USCIB

(212) 703-5043 or

More on USCIB’s Annual Award Dinner

The Coca-Cola Company website

Staff Contact:   Kira Yevtukhova

Deputy Director, Marketing and Communications
Tel: 202.617.3160

Kira Yevtukhova manages USCIB’s print and online publications, including the website, e-newsletter and quarterly magazine, and serves as the organization’s digital media strategist. Prior to this role, Kira worked for over five years within USCIB’s Policy Department, focusing on climate change, environment, nutrition, health, and chemicals related policy issues. She is a graduate of Mount Holyoke College and has an MBA from Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business.
Read More

Related Content