Lars Olofsson said: “Our consumers deserve the best possible response from retail and industry on the issues that resonate with them. We truly have today an opportunity to serve shoppers and consumers in a better, faster and responsible way and offer them a better life through better business. We as an industry must move forward in a more collaborative, open and inclusive way. I am honoured to join Muhtar Kent in leading the Consumer Goods Forum, in order to shape, with all its members, the future of our industry.
Muhtar Kent and Lars Olofsson elected co‐chairs of The Consumer Goods Forum
PARIS, 24th June 2010 – The Consumer Goods Forum has elected Muhtar Kent, Chairman and CEO of The Coca‐Cola Company, and Lars Olofsson, CEO of Carrefour, the world’s second‐largest retailer, as its new co‐chairs. Jointly, the co‐chairs will drive cross‐industry collaborative action on sustainability, consumer health and wellness and food safety. The co‐chairs will serve a two‐year term.
Commenting on his election, Muhtar Kent said: “The Consumer Goods Forum offers the industry the chance, finally, to come together on even terms and work in concert on the non‐competitive issues that affect all of our companies. The Forum delivers the concrete working tools, benchmarks and best practice we need to get this work done. It is also a highly effective way for us to stay connected and engaged with our many and varied stakeholders. It’s an industry hub for us, keeping us connected and challenging us to do our best work meeting our consumers’ needs. I’ve been impressed with the work achieved since we launched the Forum last year and I am proud to join Lars in leading the organisation.”
Jean‐Marc Saubade, managing director of The Consumer Goods Forum, said: “The election of two very high profile leaders from each of the retail and manufacturing sectors underlines our member companies’ commitment to work together on today’s most important issues. Muhtar and Lars bring a clear vision and very strong leadership as The Forum gets down to work on the issues that consumers have asked the industry to tackle.”
NOTES FOR EDITORS
The Consumer Goods Forum is an independent global parity‐based consumer goods network. It brings together the CEOs and senior management of over 650 retailers, manufacturers, service providers and other stakeholders across 70 countries.
The Forum was created in June 2009 by the merger of CIES ‐ The Food Business Forum, the Global Commerce Initiative (GCI) and the Global CEO Forum. The Consumer Goods Forum is governed by its Board of Directors, which includes an equal number of manufacturer and retailer CEOs and Chairmen. Forum member companies have combined sales of EUR 2.1 trillion.
The Forum provides a unique global platform for thought leadership, knowledge exchange and networking between retailers, manufacturers and their partners on collaborative, non‐competitive issues. Its strength lies in the privileged access it offers to the key players in the sector as well as in the development and implementation of best practices along the value chain.
It has a mandate from its members to develop common positions on key strategic and practical issues affecting the consumer goods business and to focus on non‐competitive collaborative process improvement.
With its headquarters in Paris and its regional offices in Washington, D.C., Singapore, Tokyo and Shanghai, The Consumer Goods Forum serves its members throughout the world.
Graduated in Business Administration from the University of Lund, Sweden, Lars Olofsson began his career in 1976 at Nestlé, as Product Manager for Findus frozen products. From 1981 to 1992, he worked at Nestlé France, where he held different commercial and marketing functions. In 1992, he became General Manager of “France Glaces Findus” (frozen food and ice cream). Then, he took the presidency of Pripps‐Procordia Sweden.
Afterwards, he took the head of the Diary and Dietetic Products Division of Sopad Nestlé. In 1995, he was appointed General Manager of the Nestlé Nordic Markets. In 1997, Lars Olofsson became Chief Executive Officer for Nestlé France. In 2001, he was named Executive Vice President of the Nestlé Group, responsible for the European Zone. In 2005, he was appointed Executive Vice President of the Nestlé Group, in charge of Strategic Business Units, Marketing and Sales worldwide.
On 1 January 2009, Lars Olofsson was appointed Chief Executive Officer of the Carrefour Group; and Member of the Board on 28 April 2009. He also serves as Chairman of the Carrefour International
The Carrefour Group is the first retailer in Europe, and the second largest worldwide, with more than 15.500 stores under banner in 32 countries and more than 475 000 employees. For 50 years, Carrefour has been a partner in the day–to–day lives of more than twenty million customers in Europe, Asia and Latin America.
The Group combines different store formats ‐ hypermarkets, supermarkets, hard discount, convenience stores and cash & carry outlets ‐ constantly adapting to its customers’ consumption patterns, and offering the lowest prices on a large range of products and services. With more than 3 billion cash transactions per year, the Group, through its activities, has an economic, social and environmental responsibility and is committed to helping its customers and consumers enjoy better quality lives every day.
Muhtar Kent, Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer of The Coca‐Cola Company, effective April 23, 2009.
Since July 2008, served as President and Chief Executive Officer, after holding the position of President and Chief Operating Officer effective December 2006, overseeing all operations of the business.
Previously, he held the position of President of Coca‐Cola International starting in February 2006, responsible for the Company’s operations outside of North America. Prior to this appointment, Mr. Kent was President and Chief Operating Officer of the Company’s North Asia, Eurasia and Middle East Group from 2005 until early 2006, where he was responsible for the Company’s operations across a broad and diverse geographic region that included China, Japan and Russia.
Mr. Kent joined The Coca‐Cola Company in Atlanta in 1978 and has held a variety of marketing and operations roles throughout his career. In 1985, he was appointed General Manager of Coca‐Cola Turkey and Central Asia. From 1989 to 1995, he served as President of the Company’s East Central Europe Division and Senior Vice President of Coca‐Cola International, with responsibility for 23 countries. Between 1995 and 1998, Mr. Kent served as Managing Director of Coca‐Cola Amatil‐Europe, covering bottling operations in 12 countries. From 1999 until his return to The Coca‐Cola Company in May 2005, he served as President and CEO of the Efes Beverage Group, a large international public beverage company with Coca‐Cola and beer operations in South East Europe, Turkey and Central Asia.
Mr. Kent holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Economics from University of Hull, England and a Master of Science degree in Administrative Sciences from CASS business school at City University in London. He also holds an Honorary Doctorate Law degree from Oglethorpe University in Atlanta and an honorary doctorate degree in Economics from the University of Hull.
He is a fellow of the Foreign Policy Association, a member of the Business Roundtable, and a member of the board of the Special Olympics, the Woodruff Arts Center in Atlanta and the Center for Strategic and International Studies. He is also the Chairman of the U.S.‐ASEAN Business Council.
ABOUT THE COCA‐COLA COMPANY
The Coca‐Cola Company (NYSE: KO) is the world’s largest beverage company, refreshing consumers with more than 500 sparkling and still brands. Along with Coca‐Cola, recognized as the world’s most valuable brand, the Company’s portfolio includes 12 other billion dollar brands, including Diet Coke, Fanta, Sprite, Coca‐Cola Zero, vitaminwater, Powerade, Minute Maid, Simply and Georgia Coffee. Globally, we are the No. 1 provider of sparkling beverages, juices and juice drinks and ready‐to‐drink teas and coffees. Through the world’s largest beverage distribution system, consumers in more than 200 countries enjoy the Company’s beverages at a rate of 1.6 billion servings a day. With an enduring commitment to building sustainable communities, our Company is focused on initiatives that protect the environment, conserve resources and enhance the economic development of the communities where we operate. For more information about our Company, please visit our website at www.thecoca‐colacompany.com
For more information contact:
The Consumer Goods Forum