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Coca Cola CEO Muhtar Kent Speaking Oct. 4 -- Who Will Drive the 21st Century Agenda? Women

Muhtar Kent, chairman and chief executive officer of The Coca-Cola Company, will be the speaker at the Coca-Cola World Fund at Yale Lecture on Monday, October 4, 2010. His talk, entitled “Who Will Drive the 21st Century Agenda? Women,” will be held at 4 p.m. in the Luce Hall Auditorium, 34 Hillhouse Avenue, New Haven. The lecture, sponsored by the Whitney and Betty MacMillan Center for International and Area Studies at Yale, Yale Law School, and the Yale School of Management, is free and open to the public.

In his lecture, Kent will discuss the rise of women’s economic 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, social, and economic sustainability initiatives.

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, he 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. Under Kent’s leadership, Efes experienced triple-digit revenue growth and a 250 percent increase in market capitalization. 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, where he was responsible for operations across a broad and diverse geographic region that included China, Japan, and Russia. He served as president of Coca-Cola International through most of 2006, responsible for operations outside 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.

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.