A native of Ireland, Mr. Isdell joined The Coca-Cola Company in 1966 in Zambia. In 1972, he became general manager of Coca-Cola Bottling of Johannesburg. 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. In 1985, he became president of the company’s Central European Division. In 1989, he was elected senior vice president of the company and appointed president of the Northeast Europe/Africa Group and led the company’s re-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 1998 to 2000, Mr. Isdell served as chairman and CEO of Coca-Cola Beverages Plc in Great Britain. 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.
In June 2004, Mr. Isdell came out of retirement to lead The Coca-Cola Company as chairman and CEO. Mr. Isdell serves on the boards of a number of NGOs, including CSIS and the World Wildlife Fund. Mr. Isdell also chairs the Investment Climate Facility and is a member of the Board of Directors of General Motors. He is a recipient of the Clinton Global Citizen Award
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 PMD. He is the recipient of four honorary degrees.