The chairman of Coca-Cola Enterprises has announced his retirement.

Lowry Kline, who has held the position since April 2002, confirmed yesterday (11 February) that he is to step down from the company's board of directors in April. Kline, who also enjoyed two stints as CEO of CCE, will be replaced as chairman by current CEO and president John Brock after the company's annual meeting on 22 April.

Brock, who joined CCE in May 2006 after two years with global brewer InBev, will retain the position of CEO, although no details were given regarding the vacant position of president.

"It is an honour to succeed Lowry Kline, a proven leader who has made many meaningful contributions to CCE and to the Coca-Cola system," said Brock. "Lowry helped create the foundation of this business that we work from today, and his influence will last for years to come."

"Lowry has been an integral part of our company's growth, leading the company as both chairman and CEO," said Phillip Humann, chair of CCE's governance and nominating committee. "The board thanks Lowry for his many years of leadership, commitment and passion for Coca-Cola Enterprises."

Late last year, CCE upped its forecasts for 2007. Results for the year should generate comparable earnings per diluted share of between US$1.36 and $1.39, the company said, a lift from the $1.31 to $1.36 range forecast for 2007 in October last year.