The Coca-Cola Co.
announced President and Chief Operating Officer Muhtar Kent will succeed
Neville Isdell as chief executive officer as of July 1, 2008. Isdell will
remain chairman until April 2009.
“Having worked closely with Muhtar for nearly
20 years, I know that his combination of industry knowledge, passion for
operational excellence, strategic vision and high level of interpersonal
skills is the ideal blend to take our company forward,” Isdell said
in a statement.
Kent first joined Coca-Cola in 1978 and held a
variety of roles. In 1999, he left to become president and chief executive
officer of the Efes Co. in Europe, and returned to Coca-Cola in May 2005.
He was named president of Coca-Cola International in January 2006 and
appointed president and chief operating officer in December 2006.
“The opportunity to lead The Coca-Cola Co. is
an extraordinary honor, and I am grateful to the board for the confidence
it has placed in me,” Kent said. “I look forward to building on
the strong foundation for sustainable growth that we have set in place for
the Coca-Cola system around the world.”
Widmer, Redhook breweries to merge
Redhook Ale Brewery,
Woodinville, Wash., and Widmer Brothers Brewing Co., Portland, Ore., have
announced plans to merge, creating a combined company called Craft Brewers
Alliance. Kurt Widmer will serve as the company’s chairman of the
board, and Paul Shipman will serve as chairman emeritus. Dave Mickelson,
Redhook’s current president and chief operating officer, and Terry
Michaelson, president of Craft Brands Alliance, Redhook and Widmer’s
current sales and marketing joint venture, will serve as co-chief executive
officers of the company.
The companies say they see the merger as a natural
step for the two businesses that already operate partnerships in brewing,
sales and marketing. They plan to keep the Redhook and Widmer brands
separate in the marketplace.
“Our combination of talented people,
high-quality beers and first-class brewing operations presents tremendous
advantages for the combined company,” said Paul Shipman, founder and
chief executive officer of Redhook. “The two breweries have worked
well together over the past few years, and I’m confident that we will
be even stronger as one company.”
The combined company will have breweries in Portland,
Woodinville and Portsmouth, N.H. It will be publicly traded on Nasdaq under
the symbol HOOK and will have management offices in both Portland and
Woodinville. The agreement is subject to shareholder and regulatory
approval, and is expected to be completed during the first quarter of 2008.
Anheuser-Busch is expected to remain a strategic distribution partner for
the company and will continue to hold a minority equity stake following the
Nestlé opens dedicated beverage R&D center
Nestlé has opened a new center dedicated to beverage research
and development in Orbe, Switzerland. The Nestlé Professional
Beverage Centre is the company’s first R&D facility dedicated to
Nestlé announced in October that it planned to
restructure its FoodServices Strategic Business Division into Nestlé
Professional, a globally managed business unit focused on the out-of-home
food and beverage market. The company says it will benefit from a dedicated, segment-specific
organization, which includes the new R&D facility.
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