Coca-Cola Co. KO, +0.61% said Thursday Chairman Muhtar Kent plans to retire in April, after about 10 years in the role. Kent also served as chief executive officer of the Coke parent from 2009 to 2017, when he was succeeded by current CEO James Quincey in May 2017. The beverage giant said Quincey has been elected to become chairman after the company's annual meeting in April 2019. The stock fell 1.7% in morning trade. It has gained 6.2% year to date, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA, -0.22% has lost 1.9%.
Joining Coca-Cola as a management trainee in 1978, Kent occasionally worked as a delivery driver. He became chief executive in 2008. As previously announced, Brian Smith becomes president and chief operating officer of the Atlanta-based global drinks giant from the beginning of 2019.