Neville Isdell, Chariman and CEO of the Coca-Cola Company discusses the evolving business landscape and the ways the new roles which business must assume in a changing economy.
Neville Isdell is chairman of the Board of Directors of The Coca-Cola Company.
Under a leadership succession plan announced in December 2007, Muhtar Kent (then president and COO) succeeded Mr. Isdell as CEO (effective July 1, 2008), and Mr. Isdell continues to serve as chairman of the Board through April 2009. He is the 12th chairman of the Board in the history of the Company.
A native of Ireland, Mr. Isdell joined The Coca-Cola Company in 1966 with the local bottling company in Zambia. In 1972, he became general manager of Coca-Cola Bottling of Johannesburg -- the largest Coca-Cola bottler in Africa. Mr. Isdell was named region manager for Australia in 1980. In 1981, he became president of the bottling joint venture between The Coca-Cola Company and San Miguel Corporation in the Philippines, where he oversaw the turnaround and renewal of the Coca-Cola business in that key country.
Mr. Isdell moved to Germany as president of the Company's Central European Division in 1985. In 1989, he was elected senior vice president of the Company and appointed president of the Northeast Europe/Africa Group (renamed the Northeast Europe/Middle East Group in 1992) and led the Company's entry into new markets in India, the Middle East, Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union. In 1995, he was named president of the Greater Europe Group.
From July 1998 to September 2000, Mr. Isdell served as chairman and CEO of Coca-Cola Beverages Plc in Great Britain, where he oversaw that company's merger with Hellenic Bottling to form the world's second largest Coca-Cola bottler at the time, Coca-Cola Hellenic Bottling Company (HBC). He retired as vice chairman of Coca-Cola HBC in December 2001. From January 2002 to May 2004, Mr. Isdell was an international consultant to The Coca-Cola Company and headed his own investment company in Barbados.
In June 2004, Mr. Isdell was elected chairman, Board of Directors, and chief executive officer of The Coca-Cola Company.
Mr. Isdell serves as chairman of the U.S.-Russia Business Council and chairman of the Board of Trustees of the International Business Leaders Forum (IBLF). He is a member of the U.S.-Brazil CEO Forum and chairman of the Atlanta Committee for Progress. He also serves on the Board of Directors of the Global Water Challenge and on the Board of Directors of General Motors Corporation.
Mr. Isdell received a bachelor's degree in social sciences from the University of Cape Town and is a graduate of the Harvard Business School Program for Management Development. In 2007, he received an honorary Doctor of Science degree from the University of Ulster.