The Coca-Cola Company continues to centralize its leadership with the creation of a powerful new international position.

It has appointed Muhtar Kent (53) president of international operations to oversee Coke activities outside the USA. He was previously head of the NorthAsian, Eurasian and Middle East division, which includes Japan, China and Russia.

His elevation could signal his potential as next-in-line to the throne of Neville Isdell (62). But the notion has been dismissed by the current ceo, who says the issue of succession is "still way in the future".

Isdell claims the move is designed to free him from many day-to-day tasks to concentrate on long-term-strategy.

As part of his ongoing management restructure and a reflection of Coke's increasing reliance on international growth, Isdell last year appointed Mary Minnack to the far-reaching new role of president of marketing, strategy and innovation [WAMN: 31-Aug-2005].

The Atlanta-headquartered company is currently developing its first global advertising campaign, led by independent agency Wieden + Kennedy.

Data sourced from Financial Times Online; additional content by WARC staff