Coca-Cola is still the world's most valuable brand, and Kent has done a good job protecting it against archrival PepsiCo. Born in America to Turkish diplomat parents, Kent joined Coca-Cola in 1978 and rose to the top job in 2008. Under his leadership, Coke has invested heavily in bottling and distribution infrastructure in emerging markets like China, India, and Mexico, where rapid urbanization, population growth, and rising per capita income are driving demand. Numbers tell the story: In the third quarter of this year, Coke saw volume growth of 11% in China and 19% in India, vs. 1% in the mature North American market. Like everybody else in the food and beverage industry, Coke is currently facing sky-high commodity input costs that have hurt its profitability to some extent. But Coke's efficient management, global distribution network, and unparalleled brand recognition give Kent a strong platform to build on.
He rescued the coffee chain. It had record financial results this year. Now the CEO is on a campaign to save the country from its politicians. Here's how he blends capitalism and activism.
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