April 24 (Reuters) - Coca-Cola Co added on Wednesday the head of a poverty-fighting group to its board, part of move to diversify its aging panel of directors that Chief Executive Muhtar Kent said would continue.
Up until Wednesday’s annual shareholders meeting, 10 out of Coke’s 18 directors were at least 70 years old. The two oldest, Donald Keough, 86, and James Williams, 80, did not stand for reelection.
Instead, Helene Gayle, the 57-year-old head of the humanitarian organization CARE USA, was added.
“As our business continues to evolve, our board will evolve,” Kent said during the meeting in Atlanta, which was broadcast over the Internet.
“Of course it continues to remain a priority for our board to identify female board candidates as well,” Kent added.
Keough, a former Coke executive, “was and is Mr. Coke,” according to his close friend, famed investor Warren Buffett, who spoke at the meeting. Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc is Coke’s largest shareholder.