ATLANTA: Coca-Cola announced this morning that CEO Neville Isdell will be stepping down as of July 1 and will be succeeded by current president and COO Muhtar Kent. Neville became CEO of the world's largest beverage maker in June 2004 and will remain Coke's chairman of the board until the company's annual meeting in April 2009, the AP reports. Isdell issued a statement, but did not provide any detail or explanation as to why he chose to step down now, but he and Kent are expected to meet with the media at some point today. ''We have accomplished a great deal in the last three and a half years, and I recognize my responsibilities -- to the company and to Muhtar -- remain unfinished until Muhtar is successfully launched as CEO,'' Isdell said in his statement. ''Management succession is the key final measure of any CEO's success, and I will do all I can to ensure our progress is secure for many years ahead.'' We recently provided in-depth coverage of a new global internal communications the company launched, of which Isdell was a big supporter.