The compensation is up from the $21.2 million Kent received in 2011, according to an Associated Press analysis.
The bump in pay was mostly the result of Kent's salary of $1.6 million, which was up 15 percent from the previous year. Stock and option awards were about even at $13.1 million. Incentive pay, which is based on formula tied to the company's performance, was unchanged at $6 million. All other compensation came to $963,816 and included costs for use of the company plane, a car and driver and contributions to retirement plans.
In a regulatory filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Coca-Cola noted that the company delivered profit growth in a year "marked by continued uncertainty in the global economy." The Atlanta-based maker of Sprite, Powerade, Minute Maid and Dasani reported a 5 percent increase in profit to $9.02 billion, with global sales volume up 4 percent.
Kent, 60, took the helm as Coca-Cola's top executive in 2008. About a year later, he unveiled a plan to double the company's revenue by 2020, fueled by growth in China, India and other countries where the ranks of middle-class people are growing. At the time, Kent noted that Coca-Cola had to pay attention and react to changes in the world, which he said it hadn't done from 2000 to 2004.
Kent first joined Coca-Cola in 1978 and held a variety of positions until 1998, when he left to become president and CEO of Efes Beverage Group. He returned to Coca-Cola in May 2005 and was named president of Coca-Cola International in January 2006 and appointed president and chief operating officer in December 2006.
Among the executives seen as potential successors to Kent are Ahmet Bozer, who heads Coca-Cola International, and Steven Cahillane, who heads Coca-Cola Americas.
The Associated Press calculation of CEO pay is designed to isolate the value the company's board placed on the executive's total compensation package during the last fiscal year. It includes salary, bonus, performance-related bonus, perks, above-market returns on deferred compensation and the estimated value of stock options and awards granted during the year.
The calculations don't include changes in the present value of pension benefits, and they sometimes differ from the totals companies list in the summary compensation table of proxy statements filed with regulators.