Former Chairman & CEO, The Coca-Cola Company
Founder & Chairman, Defne and Muhtar Kent Educational Foundation
Advisory Council Member, Tent Partnership For Refugees
Muhtar Kent will receive the Excellence in Philanthropy Award, which honors an individual who has shown outstanding leadership in the area of philanthropy and who, through giving, has made a remarkable difference in bringing about sustainable social change.
We are proud to honor Muhtar Kent with this award this year for his support of the Tent Partnership for Refugees, his contribution to establishing a new conflict-resolution program at Columbia University and his family foundation's unwavering support of students from Turkey.
About Muhtar Kent
Muhtar Kent is the former Chairman and CEO of The Coca-Cola Company.
In 2006, he assumed the role of President and Chief Operating Officer and in 2008 was elevated to President and CEO. He was named Chairman of the Board of Directors in 2009 and served as Chairman and CEO through April 2017. He retired from his position as Chairman of the Board on April 30, 2019.
Mr. Kent joined The Coca-Cola Company in Atlanta in 1978, holding a variety of marketing and operations leadership positions over the course of his career. In 1985, he became General Manager of Coca-Cola Turkey and Central Asia. Beginning in 1989, 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.
In 1995, Mr. Kent was named Managing Director of Coca-Cola Amatil-Europe, covering bottling operations in 12 countries. In 1999, he became President and CEO of the Efes Beverage Group, a diversified beverage company with Coca-Cola and beer operations across Southeast Europe, Turkey and Central Asia.
Mr. Kent returned to The Coca-Cola Company in 2005 as President and Chief Operating Officer of the Company's North Asia, Eurasia and Middle East Group, an organization serving a broad and diverse region that included China, Japan and Russia. Less than a year later, he became President of Coca-Cola International, leading all of the Company's operations outside North America.
Mr. Kent holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Economics from the University of Hull in England and a Master of Science degree in Administrative Sciences from Cass Business School, City University London.
Active in the global business community, Mr. Kent is the past Chairman of the International Business Council of the World Economic Forum and a member of its Chairman’s Community, a member of the Concordia Leadership Council, the Council on Foreign Relations, and Chairman Emeritus of the U.S. ASEAN Business Council. He serves on the boards of 3M, Special Olympics International, Catalyst, Cambridge China Development Trust and Emory University.