The Coca-Cola Co has completed its chairman transition, with Muhtar Kent replacing Neville Isdell in the position.

The US-based soft drinks giant said yesterday (23 April) that Kent will hold the chairman post alongside his current roles of president and CEO of Coca-Cola.

The move completes the company's leadership succession plan, which was announced in December 2007.

Kent, 56, became CEO last July and, in December, the board announced that Isdell, 65, would not stand for reelection to the board and that it intended to elect Kent as chairman following the company's 2009 annual shareholder meeting.

"The board has tremendous confidence in Muhtar's leadership and his vision to lead the company beyond these turbulent times and continue on its progress toward long-term, sustainable growth," said James Robinson, presiding director of Coca-Cola. As president and CEO, he has assembled a uniquely qualified and experienced leadership team. The company is in strong hands.

"I'd like to thank Neville for the exemplary leadership he brought to our company, and his 43 years of dedicated service to our system. Neville guided our company through a very difficult period, and while his accomplishments were numerous, he will be forever remembered for bringing back the winning spirit to Coca-Cola.

"We wish him and his family continued good health and happiness as they embark upon the next exciting chapter of their lives."