July 1/Atlanta/Business Wire -- The Coca-Cola Company completed its executive leadership transition as Muhtar Kent officially became the company's new chief executive officer.

Kent follows Neville Isdell who will remain chairman of the board through the company's annual meeting of shareowners in April 2009. Kent remains president of the company.

Speaking for the Coca-Cola board of directors, presiding director James D. Robinson III thanked Isdell for his years of service, applauded the orderly transition and expressed enthusiasm for Kent's appointment.

"The board recognizes Neville's significant achievements, and we look forward to working with him as our chairman through April 2009. Neville and the rest of the board now look to Muhtar to take The Coca-Cola Company to the next level of success," said Robinson. "This has been a very smooth and transparent leadership transition, which speaks well for the health and future of The Coca-Cola Company. Neville has done an outstanding job bringing The Coca-Cola Company back to fighting form. We have full confidence in Muhtar as CEO and in his intense focus on continuing to win in the marketplace. His blend of operational excellence, vision and dynamic leadership are exactly what our company needs."

From the July 7, 2008, Prepared Foods e-Flash