Isdell will remain chairman of the board until the company's annual meeting in April 2009.
"We have accomplished a great deal in the last three and a half years, and I recognize my responsibilities - to the company and to Muhtar - remain unfinished until Muhtar is successfully launched as CEO," Neville Isdell said in a statement. "Management succession is the key final measure of any CEO's success, and I will do all I can to ensure our progress is secure for many years ahead."
Kent first joined Coca-Cola in 1978 and served in a variety of positions until 1998, when he left to become president and CEO of Efes Beverage Group, one of Europe's largest international beverage businesses. He returned to Coca-Cola in May 2005 as president of the North Asia, Eurasia and Middle East Group. He was named president of Coca-Cola International in January 2006 and appointed president and chief operating officer of the company in December 2006.
As COO, Kent has overseen a number of significant initiatives, including the acquisition of glaceau earlier this year. He will continue to hold the title of president.