Coca-Cola Co. (KO) announced Thursday that CEO James Quincey would succeed Muhtar Kent as the beverage giant's chairman.
Kent is set to retire as chairman next April after more than 40 years with the company. Quincey will become the 14th chairman of Coca-Cola.
Quincey is currently the president and CEO, but will relinquish his president title once he takes over as chairman. Quincey took over the CEO position from Kent in 2017.
"One of the most important jobs of a chairman is to ensure that a strong leadership succession plan is in place," Kent said. "I'm delighted that the board has elected James as chairman. He is the right leader to take the Coca-Cola system to the next level and through the next decade."
"I'm honored that the board of directors has asked me to serve as chairman of the company," Quincey said. "I appreciate the years of mentorship, encouragement and insights I've gained from Muhtar. I also join my fellow directors in thanking Sam for his many years of service, and I look forward to working with Mel as she steps into an expanded role as lead independent director."
Coca-Cola also announced that company director Sam Nunn will not stand for reelection at the company's 2019 annual meeting in April, ending a 22-year tenure as a director. Coca Cola's board elected Maria Elena Lagomasino to replace Nunn.