Diversity Leadership: Muhtar Kent,
The Coca-Cola Company

Muhtar Kent, The Coca-Cola CompanyMuhtar Kent
Chairman and CEO
The Coca-Cola Company

The son of a Turkish diplomat, Muhtar Kent grew up traveling the world. A lifetime of international experiences has made him recognize that diversity is one of The Coca-Cola Company’s greatest assets. “The real power of diversity is in the incredible synergies that result when different people and cultures come together united behind a common goal of winning and creating shared value,” Kent said in a corporate diversity report. “Extraordinary things truly happen.”

Kent meets regularly with resource groups, personally signs off on diversity metrics and ties executive compensation to diversity. He previously served as Coca-Cola’s President and CEO, and President and Chief Operating Officer. He has held numerous leadership roles since joining the company in 1978, including Managing Director of Europe for Coca-Cola Amatil; President and CEO of the Efes Beverage Group; President and COO of the North Asia, Eurasia and Middle East Group; and President of Coca-Cola International.

Kent is chairman of the International Business Council of the World Economic Forum, co-chair of The Consumer Goods Forum and a chairman emeritus of the US-ASEAN Business Council. He was nominated by President Obama to the United States–Association of Southeast Asian Nations Eminent Persons Group. Kent is also a fellow of the Foreign Policy Association and a member of Business Roundtable, and he sits on the boards of Special Olympics, Ronald McDonald House Charities, Emory University, the Woodruff Arts Center and the Center for Strategic & International Studies.

He has a bachelor’s degree in economics from the University of Hull in England and a master’s degree in administrative sciences from the Cass Business School at City University London.