The head of Coca-Cola Co. has been appointed to the Special Olympics board of directors.

The company said yesterday (5 June), that Coca-Cola Co. president and COO, Muhtar Kent, will become the latest member of the governing authority for the entire Special Olympics organisation.

Special Olympics chairman Timothy Shriver said: "Coca-Cola has been a committed and long-standing supporter of Special Olympics for almost four decades, and we are delighted to welcome Muhtar Kent to our board."

Kent added: "Special Olympics fosters ideals our company wholeheartedly supports: personal growth, the development of empowered citizens, and a better society based on mutual respect for all individuals. I believe that we can all learn from Special Olympics athletes."

As a member of the Special Olympics board, Kent will manage the global affairs and strategies of the event, determine its policies and programs and oversee top-level management.

In October last year, Coca-Cola extended its top-level, worldwide sponsorship of the event, including the 2007 Special Olympics World Summer Games. The company is also the only sponsor supporting the Olympic Games, Paralympic Games and Special Olympics World Games.