Coca-Cola CEO to Discuss Empowering Women Worldwide

Muhtar Kent, Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer, The Coca-Cola Company, will deliver the Coca-Cola World Fund at Yale Lecture on Monday, October 4. His talk, “Who Will Drive the 21st Century Agenda? Women,” will be at 4 p.m. in Luce Hall Auditorium, 34 Hillhouse Ave. The lecture, sponsored by the Whitney and Betty MacMillan Center for International and Area Studies at Yale, the Yale Law School, and the Yale School of Management, is free and open to the public.

Kent will discuss the rise of women’s economic and social empowerment in the coming decade and its impact on the global economy, business strategy and sustainability efforts. He will focus on ways that multinational businesses can be agents of global female empowerment by promoting and supporting women’s entrepreneurship, developing women leaders and leading the charge across a number of environmental, educational, social, health and economic sustainability initiatives.

The Coca-Cola Company recently announced its pledge at a Clinton Global Initiative plenary session to empower 5 million women across the Coca-Cola global business system by 2020. This pledge builds on the commitment made by The Coca-Cola Company in 2008 to grow its Micro Distribution Centers in Africa. At last year’s Clinton Global Initiative, Coca-Cola committed that 50 percent of all new Micro Distribution Centers will be run by women.

Kent joined The Coca-Cola Company in Atlanta in 1978 and has held a variety of marketing and operations positions during his career. In 1985, he was appointed General Manager of Coca-Cola Turkey and Central Asia. From 1989 to 1995, he served as President of the Company’s East Central Europe Division and Senior Vice President of Coca-Cola International, with responsibility for 23 countries. Between 1995 and 1998, Kent served as Managing Director of Coca-Cola Amatil-Europe, covering bottling operations in 12 countries.

From 1999 until his return to The Coca-Cola Company in May 2005, he served as President and CEO of the Efes Beverage Group, the majority shareholder of Turkish bottler Coca-Cola Içecek. During that time, in addition to taking Efes Breweries International public on the London Stock Exchange, Kent also served on the board of Coca-Cola Içecek.

Kent was President and Chief Operating Officer of The Coca-Cola Company’s North Asia, Eurasia and Middle East Group from 2005 until early 2006, during which time he was responsible for operations across a broad and diverse geographic region that included China, Japan and Russia. Kent served as President of Coca-Cola International through most of 2006, responsible for operations outside of North America, until his appointment as President and Chief Operating Officer of The Coca-Cola Company, overseeing all operations of the business, including Bottling Investments. He succeeded Neville Isdell as Chief Executive Officer of the Company on July 1, 2008, and as Chairman of the Board of Directors on April 23, 2009.

Kent, father of two, lives in Atlanta with his wife.

The Coca-Cola World Fund at Yale was established in 1992 by the late Roberto C. Goizueta, former Chairman and CEO of The Coca-Cola Company and 1953 Yale alumnus, to support intersecting endeavors among specialists in international relations, international law, and the management of international enterprises and organizations. Previous lecturers have included Michael Doyle, Senator Gary Hart, Tom Friedman, Nicholas Kristof, Luis Moreno-Ocampo, Senator Sam Nunn, Sadako Ogata, Samantha Power and Mary Robinson.

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Marilyn Wilkes: marilyn.wilkes@yale.edu, 203-432-3413