Contenders for the top position at PepsiCo

imageWe have been going through unconfirmed reports through various sources hinting at a management change & structural rejig of top team at PepsiCo.

Though the timelines for these changes and announcements are not clear at this stage – as per one such report it appears that the global food and beverage giant PepsiCo may announce some major changes in its leadership team towards effecting business level changes as well as to create a line of successors to its present Chairman & CEO – Indra Nooyi.

The names of potential successors as being seen in various reports are:  Ex Wal-Mart Executive Brian Cornell, and PepsiCo veterans John Compton and the PepsiCo Europe’s CEO – Zein Abdalla. There had been reports earlier in Feb 2012, about PepsiCo, planning to hire Brian Cornell – Read: PepsiCo Said to Be in Talks to Recruit Former Wal-Mart Executive Cornell.

Who are these executives ?

For those interested, we are carrying a brief Bio of all these three top executives.

Brian C. Cornell


Brian C. Cornell Cornell holds a B.A degree from UCLA and attended the Anderson Graduate School of Management. He has more than 25 years of experience in consumer products marketing and general management.

Cornell has most recently – served as the Chief Executive Officer and President of Sam’s Club (now Sam’s West, Inc.) of Wal-Mart International and Wal-Mart Stores Inc. He had joined Wal-Mart in 2009. Cornell, started his career with Gallo Wine Company in 1981, and subsequently spent about seven years with Joseph E. Seagram Company before taking a role with its Tropicana Division. Prior to his recent Wal-Mart stint, he served as Chief Executive Officer of Michaels, Inc., an arts and crafts specialty retailer. Earlier he had served as Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer of Safeway, Inc., a food and drug retailer.

Cornell’s earlier brush with PepsiCo:

Prior to Safeway ,Inc. he was associated with PepsiCo in various senior level positions. At PepsiCo – he held the position of  President of the Food Services Division and Senior Vice President of Sales for Pepsi-Cola North America (PCNA). While at PCNA, he was responsible for the Food Service Division’s national and local sales, marketing, strategy, operations and customer service. Prior to joining PCNA, he served as Regional President of PepsiCo Beverages International’s European business with the additional responsibility as Senior Vice President, Non Carb Beverage Marketing. He had joined PepsiCo in 1998.

John Compton, CEO , PepsiCo Americas Foods & Global Snacks Group


John Compton, a graduate in  Finance from University of Tennessee, Knoxville, is chief executive officer of PepsiCo Americas Foods & Global Snacks Group. Compton assumed this role in November 2007, and is responsible for overseeing PepsiCo Americas Foods (PAF), which has a food and snack portfolio including Frito-Lay North America, Quaker Foods and all of PepsiCo’s Latin American food businesses including Sabritas and the Gamesa business in Mexico.

Compton joined PepsiCo in 1983, and has held a variety of positions. He also worked in Frito-Lay for 22 years in various sales, marketing, operations and general management assignments. He was vice chairman and president of Frito-Lay’s North American Salty Snacks Division, chief marketing officer and senior vice president, Sales. Compton served on the Board of Directors of the Pepsi-Cola Bottling Group prior to its merger with PepsiCo in 2010.

Zein Abdalla, CEO, PepsiCo Europe


Zein Abdalla, a graduate from Imperial College, London University, London has been leading PepsiCo Europe as its CEO effective November 2009. Abdalla is responsible for PepsiCo’s food and beverage businesses in Continental Europe as well as the UK and sub-Sahara Africa, which together generated approximately $10 billion in revenues in 2010. Abdalla joined PepsiCo in 1995 and has held a variety of senior positions.

He has served as General Manager of Tropicana Europe and Franchise Vice President for Pakistan and the Gulf region. From 2005 to 2008 he led PepsiCo’s continental Europe operations. In September 2008 he went on to lead the complete portfolio of PepsiCo businesses in Europe. Prior to joining PepsiCo, Mr. Abdalla worked for Mars Incorporated in engineering and manufacturing roles, as well as in sales, marketing, human resources and general management.

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