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Coca-Cola wants 'to be everywhere'

By Wang Zhuoqiong (China Daily)

15:27, June 07, 2013

Muhtar Kent (middle), president and CEO of Coca-Cola Co, Yang Yuanqing (left), president and CEO of Lenovo Group Ltd and Jamie Dimon (right), chairman and CEO of JP Morgan Chase & Co, at the 2013 Fortune Global Forum in Chengdu on Thursday. [Feng Yongbin / China Daily]

Company plans to double its system revenue, servings by 2020

Thirty-five years after joining the world's leading beverage company through a newspaper advertisement and touring the United States to sell its product, Coca-Cola Co CEO Muhtar Kent remembers what it was about the company that appealed to him in the first place.

"Coca-Cola is a dynamic company that was truly global in scale and local in its approach to business," the Turkish-American executive said.

"It is a brand known throughout the world, but at its core was a very local, community-based business," he said. "That appealed to me. And it still appeals to me."

The ability to build brands, provide value for retail customers, and manage strategic relationships with bottling partners are what give the company the confidence to know that it is on the right path toward responsible, sustainable growth that benefits the communities and people it serves, he said.

Since taking over as CEO in 2008, Kent has redefined the corporate culture, replacing nearly 70 percent of the company's senior management team. Kent said Coca-Cola looks for leaders who can cross cultures, forge strong relationships inside and outside the company's four walls, and who are insatiably curious.

"Great leaders, to me, have the ability to create a shared vision, inspire trust, are biased toward action, and hold themselves accountable," he said.

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