Blog: Kent's dire warning puts Coca-Cola woes in the shade
Andy Morton | 25 January 2016
The global elite were in Switzerland last week for the World Economic Forum in Davos, the annual corporate huddle for the rich and powerful. The CEO of The Coca-Cola Co, Muhtar Kent, was there too, despite his company arguably being slightly less rich and powerful this year after some bruising quarters in the marketplace. Last year, there was even talk that the Coke owner is in line to be taken over by Anheuser-Busch InBev's masters.
The sunglass-wearing Kent didn't discuss that in an interview with Yahoo, but he did take time to warn that the business world is a “volatile place”, with previously fast-growing markets slowing down and slower-growth regions such as the US speeding up.
He also threw cold water on alarm over China's slowing growth rate, saying 6% is pretty solid for a country of its size.
“When you get up there, the air is thinner,” Kent said, sagely.
As befits the atmosphere in Davos, where delegates love to tackle the world's bigger problems with some blue-sky thinking, Kent laid into widening equality gaps and the continued stripping out of white-collar administrative jobs by the new digital economy. He proposed more apprenticeships and a focus on youth employment, and offered his own dire warning of what could happen if nothing is done.
“The whole social mosaic is going to crumble,” he said. “And we're all going to crumble underneath it.”
It puts Coca-Cola's full-year results next month into a useful context.
Whenever we read anything about Millennial consumers, there is almost always mention of the personalisation trend as well as the importance of social media....
Ever wondered what fuels Anheuser-Busch InBev's acquisitional drive? Is it naked ambition? Faith? The good of mankind?...
Anheuser-Busch InBev is reportedly calling a halt to its Seth Rogan and Amy Schumer Bud Light campaign in the US....
Today is SABMiller's final day. Some time this evening, Brussel's time, the second-biggest brewer in the world will be subsumed into the biggest, creating a beer behemoth of unprecedented proportions....
- Interview - Bernstein analyst Trevor Stirling
- Trump, local spirits and the IR role - The Analyst
- Is Irish whiskey ready to recognise its potential?
- Cannabis – A clear and present danger to alcohol
- The European beer market - Focus
- Diageo appoints first programmatic marketing head
- Diageo strike threat postponed with fresh vote
- Pernod Ricard offloads Domecq brandies, wines
- Beam Suntory opens global headquarters in Chicago
- Remy snaps up Seattle's Westland Distillery