Leadership Lessons from Coca-Cola & Beyond

May 06, 2019

By Robert Wagenseil

Miami Business School welcomed Muhtar Kent, outgoing chairman of the board of directors and former CEO of The Coca-Cola Company, as part of Southern Glazer's Distinguished Leaders Lecture Series held in Storer Auditorium. During his presentation, Kent shared insights and advice based on the experiences of his 41-year career at Coca-Cola, in which he started as a delivery driver.

"Develop human relationships. A meal eaten alone is a wasted opportunity to create a relationship,” said Kent.

He discussed his role in achieving water neutrality for Coca-Cola in five years, elevating entrepreneurship among women all over the world and how he positioned Coca-Cola as a leader in corporate sustainability.

Following his lecture, Kent was joined by Troy Taylor, CEO of Coca-Cola Florida for Q&A panel discussion moderated by Miami Business School’s Dean Quelch. Corporate recruiters from Coca-Cola were also on-site to meet with students to discuss internship and career opportunities.

Kent joined The Coca-Cola Company in 1978 and has held a variety of global marketing and operations leadership roles throughout his career. 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. Kent retired from his position as Chairman of the Board on April 30, 2019.

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 in London.

He 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.

The Miami Business School’s Distinguished Leaders Lecture Series is made possible through the generosity of Southern Glazer's Wine & Spirits. 

Click here to view photos from the lecture event and here to watch the livestream recording.

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