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PepsiCo Announces Leadership Changes Amid Shifts in its Marketing Efforts

With investors still antsy about the company’s stagnant stock price, PepsiCo named two new execs to its management team.

Brian Cornell, previously the president and CEO of Sam’s Club, a division of Wal-Mart, has rejoined the company as CEO of PepsiCo Americas Foods. He has previously held a number of management positions across PepsiCo, including president of Tropicana and president of PepsiCo beverages in Europe and Africa. He will be responsible for a number of businesses across PepsiCo, including Frito-Lay North America, Quaker Foods & Snacks North America, and PepsiCo Mexico, reporting to chairman and CEO Indra Nooyi.

And PepsiCo Americas Foods CEO, John Compton, has been named to a new position, president of PepsiCo. He’s now managing PepsiCo’s global groups (such as global nutrition), global operations, and global marketing services and corporate strategy.

The moves are being positioned as a “drive to continued growth.” The Wall Street Journal says it also sets up succession possibilities.

The paper says Nooyi “signalled” last month that there would be changes to the business strategy if “performance” didn’t improve. The company has said that it will boost its beverage marketing and announced thousands of job cuts to make that happen. A global marketing campaign launch for some of its core brands, like Doritos and Mountain Dew is weeks away.

Nooyi has not said that she has any plans to step down, though there has been talk that she is a candidate to lead the World Bank.

PepsiCo is at SXSW now with a number of initiatives, including a “creative thinking space” at the Austin Convention Center and the PepsiCo10 incubator program that works with digital startups. It has announced an international expansion into Brazil and India for PepsiCo10. And, according to the materials we received, four of PepsiCo’s “billion-dollar brands” are at the conference: Pepsi, Mountain Dew, Doritos, and Brisk.

Back in January, there was negative chatter about possible health dangers related to some of PepsiCo’s beverage products and the settling of a discrimination lawsuit. Now the company (along with Coca-Cola and a number of other brands) is adjusting its cola recipe to avoid adding a warning label stating that the beverage contains a chemical that is “known to cause cancer or reproductive toxicitiy.”

In other words, PepsiCo is faced with pressures from all sides, requiring communications from the top of the company to the IR group and down to the brand level. In the video below, Nooyi talks about today’s announcement, explaining how it will help the company reach its larger business goals.

[image: PepsiCo at SXSW. Via, with more about the company's SXSW happenings here.]

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