Coca-Cola CEO Muhtar Kent is stepping down

Muhtar Kent, CEO of Coca-Cola, will step down as CEO of the company as of May 1, 2017 according to a release from the company.

Kent will be replaced by current COO James Quincey, who has been at Coca-Cola for 20 years, according to the firm.

Kent has served as CEO since 2008

“It has been the most wonderful and unique privilege to serve as Chairman and CEO of our great company over the past eight years,” said Kent in the release from Coca Cola. “This transition comes at a time of important evolution for The Coca-Cola Company. Our journey to refocus on our core business model of building strong global brands, enhancing sustainable customer value and leading a strong, dedicated franchise system is well under way.”

The shift comes as Coca-Cola and other soda manufacturers ace pressures from health-focused consumers. Soda sales, the backbone for the company, have been sliding in recent years.

Following the news, Coca-Cola stock is up just over 1% in pre-market trading.

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