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The Wall Street Journal reports this morning that Coca-Cola’s board of directors is seriously considering four outside candidates to take over the CEO position at the company when Douglas Daft retires.

Among the reported front runners: R. Kerry Clark, vice chairman of Procter & Gamble Co. and president of its global market development and business operations; Robert Eckert, Mattel Inc.'s chairman and CEO; Carlos Gutierrez, chairman and CEO of Kellogg Co.; and James Kilts, Gillette Co.'s chairman and CEO.

Steven J. Heyer, Coke's second-ranked executive and the assumed heir apparent to Daft, remains the sole internal candidate for the top job, but is by no means considered a sure bet.

A final decision is expected by next month.
KC's View:
We imagine that the boards at Kellogg, P&G, Mattel, and Gillette might have some thoughts about how all this will play out…