11. Muhtar Kent

Illustration by Alex Fine
Illustration by Alex Fine

Focus Business
Age 63
Muhtar Kent spent nearly four decades climbing the corporate ladder to become chairman and CEO of the Coca-Cola Company, Atlanta’s signature business success story and the world’s most recognized brand. Since 2009, the Turkish American exec has led the Fortune 500 favorite out of a major economic downturn toward record high stock prices. He’s managed to market one of the region’s oldest products in new ways, such as selling soda in smaller containers—a move that has padded margins. In addition, Kent has used his position to call for immigration reform, greater sustainability practices, and a host of other issues within the sugar water empire’s reaches.

Fat blocker Coke faced criticism this summer for funding a group of scientists that downplays the role of calories in causing obesity.

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This article originally appeared in our October 2015 issue.