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Awards / Honors

Muhtar Kent to receive honorary doctorate from CSU

May 14, 2104

The College of Business will bestow an honorary doctorate on Muhtar Kent, Chairman and CEO of The Coca-Cola Company, for his role in providing support for students and academic opportunities around the world.

The College of Business will bestow an honorary doctorate on Muhtar Kent, Chairman and CEO of The Coca-Cola Company, in recognition of his role in the relationship between the company and the University that provides support for students and academic opportunities around the world.

“We are honored to have had the opportunity to work with Muhtar Kent over the years, and grateful for his support of the vision and programs within the College of Business,” said Ajay Menon, dean of the College of Business. “A champion of women’s issues, Mr. Kent launched a new global initiative, 5 by 20, that pledged to develop 5 million women entrepreneurs by 2020 by growing Coca-Cola’s Micro Distribution Centers in Africa. By increasing access to training, access to micro-loans, access to finance service, support networks, mentoring and training, the program is helping women build their businesses, support their families and improve their communities.

“Mr. Kent has made it his priority to bring more women-owned businesses into Coca-Cola’s supply chains, an area in which he believes that business, government and academia can impact massive change,” Menon added.

Leadership around the world

Kent joined The Coca-Cola Company in Atlanta in 1978 and has held a variety of marketing and operations leadership roles throughout his career in markets across Europe, Asia and the Middle East. 

In 2005, Kent was appointed President of Coca-Cola International, responsible for overseeing all operations outside of North America.  In 2006, he assumed the role of President and Chief Operating Officer and in 2008 was elevated to President and CEO.  He was named Chairman of the Board of Directors in 2009.

Active in global business

Active in the global business community, Kent is Chairman of the International Business Council of the World Economic Forum, Co-Chair of the Bipartisan Policy Center’s CEO Council on Health and Innovation, a fellow of the Foreign Policy Association, a member of the Business Roundtable, immediate past Co-Chair of The Consumer Goods Forum, a past Chairman of the U.S.-China Business Council and Chairman Emeritus of the U.S. ASEAN Business Council. He also is a member of the Eminent Persons Group for ASEAN, appointed by President Obama and former Secretary of State Clinton.  He serves on the boards of 3M, Special Olympics International, Ronald McDonald House Charities, Catalyst and Emory University.   

Kent holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Economics from the University of Hull in England and a Master of Science degree in Administrative Sciences from Cass Business School, City University London. 

The College of Business Commencement ceremonies will be held on Saturday, May 17, at 8 a.m. in Moby Arena.