The FINANCIAL — PepsiCo, Inc. on July 20 announced three senior leadership appointments that support the company’s strategic priorities and growth agenda.
“PepsiCo has consistently delivered top-tier financial performance while simultaneously making investments that position the company for sustainable long-term growth,” said PepsiCo Chairman and CEO Indra Nooyi. “Our ability to perform while we transform is a testament to our people. All across the business, from our frontline associates to our senior executives, PepsiCo is home to the very best talent in the industry. We have built a strong bench of senior executives, and these leadership appointments will further enhance our efforts to create shareholder value and propel our company forward.”
The following moves are effective September 1, 2017:
Ramon Laguarta, currently CEO, Europe Sub-Saharan Africa (ESSA), will become president, PepsiCo. In his new role, Laguarta will shape PepsiCo’s corporate strategy, work closely with business units to deliver top line growth, drive productivity to enable this growth, and invest in new areas of disruptive innovation, all in support of the company’s previously announced Performance with Purpose 2025 agenda. Specifically, he will oversee PepsiCo’s Global Category Groups; its Global Operations, Corporate Strategy, and Public Policy & Government Affairs functions; and the PepsiCo Foundation. Operationally, he will work closely with Mehmood Khan, Vice Chairman and Chief Scientific Officer, to drive category innovation and progress against PepsiCo’s sustainability goals.
Laguarta brings more than 20 years of PepsiCo experience to his new role. In his most recent position, he led the transformation of the company’s European product portfolio and significantly strengthened PepsiCo’s position in key growth markets. Prior to becoming ESSA CEO, he served as PepsiCo Europe’s president of developing and emerging markets. Previous roles include president, PepsiCo Eastern Europe Region; commercial vice president for PepsiCo Europe; general manager for Iberia Snacks and Juices; and general manager for Greece Snacks.
Laguarta will continue to report to Nooyi.
Laxman Narasimhan, currently CEO, Latin America (LATAM), will become CEO, LATAM and ESSA. In this new role, Narasimhan will oversee the company’s food and beverage businesses across both geographies, with a focus on unlocking new growth opportunities for the two organizations, sharing commercial strategies and other best practices, and investing in talent development.
Narasimhan joined PepsiCo in 2012 from McKinsey & Company, where he served almost 20 years in a variety of positions, including as a senior partner, and co-leader of the Global Consumer and Shopper Insights Practice, as well as overseeing the firm’s research on emerging market consumers. He has held several senior leadership positions with increasing responsibility over the past five years. As LATAM CEO, he has successfully led the business through sector-wide volatility, strengthened relationships with franchise bottlers, and forged new collaborations with governments and NGOs in pursuit of the company’s sustainability agenda. Prior to being named LATAM CEO in 2015, he served as CEO, Latin America Foods, responsible for the company’s foods businesses in Mexico, Brazil, Central America, South America and the Caribbean. He also served as senior vice president and chief financial officer, PepsiCo Americas Foods.
Narasimhan will continue to report to Nooyi.
Silviu Popovici, currently president, Russia, Ukraine and CIS, has been named president, ESSA.
Popovici has been an integral part of PepsiCo’s success in Russia and Eastern Europe during the past several years, leading his businesses through volatility while capitalizing on new growth opportunities and building capabilities for the future. Previously, he spent three years as president, PepsiCo Russia. Earlier in his career, he held senior leadership roles at Wimm-Bill-Dann, running both its beverage and dairy businesses. Prior to joining PepsiCo, Popovici held several general management positions with the Coca-Cola system in Eastern Europe, according to PepsiCo.
In his new role, Popovici will report to Narasimhan.
“Ramon, Laxman and Silviu are highly respected executives with long track records of delivering strong results throughout their careers,” Nooyi said. “These moves continue our longstanding practice of elevating great leaders within PepsiCo and allowing them to apply their capabilities in new ways that support our strategies for growth. We have an incredibly strong executive team in place, and I have no doubt that our next generation of talent will lift our company to even greater heights in the years ahead.”
The above changes will have no impact on PepsiCo’s external financial reporting structure. The company will continue to report segments as Frito Lay North America, LATAM, Quaker Foods North America, North America Beverages, ESSA, and Asia Middle East and North Africa, consistent with current practice.