A Chat With Coke CEO Muhtar Kent


The FOX Business Network's Liz Claman recently sat down with Muhtar Kent, the chief executive of Coca-Cola (NYSE:KO), for an exclusive interview from the 2012 London Olympics. Watch it here.

The following is a brief Q&A Liz conducted after the on-air interview:

CLAMAN: What's the outlook for your business and your industry? KENT:  Well, we don't usually like to give an outlook. But I would say that we continue to have faith that we can -- and we will strive -- to meet our long-term growth targets.CLAMAN:  If there's something that keeps you up at night, what would it be? KENT:  I often say that the only thing that would keep me up the whole night is called arrogance, and I will strive every day to give the message to all the 770,000-strong members of the Coca-Cola family system around the world that we need to remain constructively discontent.CLAMAN:  If somebody asked you, “What's the one characteristic that you've had that you feel really helped you as a leader,” what would it be?

KENT:  Being low-key and loving what I do.

CLAMAN:  Who are some of your business role models?

KENT:  Certainly I learned many things from my father, but also Don Keough, who is the former president of the Coca-Cola Company. I have tremendous respect for him and I have worked very closely with him and I know I've learned a lot from him.CLAMAN: Your father is a hero to many, because during World War II, as a Turkish diplomat, he stuck up for French Jews who had Turkish background and he made sure that they were not put on trains. What does that really say about doing something that may have been risky, but in the end is the right thing to do?

KENT:  That's one of the tremendous things I've learned from my father -- to always to try to remain truthful to yourself and do the right things, and I'm very proud of what he did.

CLAMAN: If you weren't doing this, what would you be doing?KENT:  I'd be doing this.