A headline on the home page of Coke.com reads “Battle for Everything.” It is a promotion for a film that failed at the box office — “Battleship.” It could describe the match the Coca-Cola Co. (NYSE: KO) has set to decide who will be its new chief executive. At least that is what outside analysts guess. Hidden deep inside the Coke site, beyond the promotions for the Olympics, is a press release that says:
Ahmet Bozer, currently President of the Eurasia & Africa Group, will be appointed President of Coca-Cola International. Steve Cahillane, currently President and Chief Executive Officer of Coca-Cola Refreshments (CCR), will be appointed President of Coca-Cola Americas.
One of these people will become the CEO of Coca-Cola Co. when Muhtar Kent, who is 57, retires. That may be several years off — probably sometime around the 2020 Olympics.
Douglas A. McIntyre