John Compton, PepsiCo’s current president, has chosen to depart PepsiCo to become CEO of Pilot Flying J Oil Corp. based in Knoxville, Tenn. PepsiCo Europe CEO Zein Abdalla has been appointed president of PepsiCo, while PepsiCo executive Enderson Guimaraes has been named CEO of PepsiCo Europe, succeeding Abdalla.
PepsiCo Chairman and CEO Indra Nooyi said, “We are sad to see John leave PepsiCo. John joined PepsiCo as a 21-year-old at the Pulaski, Tenn., Frito-Lay facility, and since that day has made countless positive contributions to this company. He is a humble and collaborative leader who cares deeply about both the business and developing talent. John is also passionate about his family, and what is particularly impressive about his decision is that he is choosing what is right for him and his family. I have enjoyed a long friendship with John and will miss him. I’m confident John will enjoy great future success, and we wish him all the best as he takes this unique opportunity to return to his native Tennessee.”
Compton said, “It isn’t easy leaving a company I’ve been a part of for 30 years. I love PepsiCo, and I will always be part of the PepsiCo family. I have deep and personal ties to Tennessee, and my family’s plan all along has been to return to Tennessee at some point. It isn’t often that the opportunity arises to run one of America’s largest private companies, and this new opportunity was a once-in-a-lifetime chance to do so. This is something I just had to do. I remain deeply committed to PepsiCo, especially the wonderful women and men worldwide who make the company so unique and special. I’m confident in PepsiCo’s business strategy, and I believe that PepsiCo’s best days are yet to come. I wish Indra and PepsiCo all the best in the future.”
In announcing the appointment of Abdalla as PepsiCo’s president, Nooyi said, “We have drawn from our strong and seasoned cadre of business leaders in appointing Zein Abdalla as president. Zein’s strategic vision, global experience and focus on execution will serve him very well in this new assignment.”
Nooyi added, “Zein has demonstrated outstanding business and operational results as the leader of our European sector. During his tenure the division grew revenues from $7 billion to $14 billion; he led the transformation of the European portfolio, shifting it toward the higher-growth markets in the region; and along the way he also helped PepsiCo become the largest food and beverage company in Russia.”
In his new role as president, Abdalla will oversee PepsiCo’s Global Category Groups (Global Beverages, Global Snacks and Global Nutrition), Global Operations (IT, Global Procurement, Supply Chain and Productivity), Global Marketing Services and Corporate Strategy. Working with the geographic business units, Abdalla’s team will drive innovation and brand building while significantly reducing the overall cost structure of the company.
“I look forward to building on the excellent work John has done by working with the global groups and the sector CEOs to continue to drive PepsiCo’s growth agenda,” said Abdalla. “We will continue to focus on global brand-building, breakthrough innovation and productivity throughout the organization.”
Guimaraes will replace Abdalla as CEO of PepsiCo Europe. Guimaraes currently serves as president of PepsiCo’s Global Nutrition Group. Prior to joining PepsiCo in 2011, Guimaraes served as EVP of Electrolux and CEO of its major appliances business for Europe, Africa and the Middle East, based in Belgium. Guimaraes previously spent 10 years at Philips Electronics, first as a regional marketing executive in Latin America and ultimately as SVP and head of global marketing management.
“Enderson has an extensive track record of business leadership and results in Europe, and I’m confident he will do a stellar job in his new role,” Nooyi said. “PepsiCo has an excellent business and a strong, experienced team in Europe, and I’m looking forward to returning to Europe, where I have spent much of my career,” said Guimaraes. “It’s a large market which is going through tremendous change at the moment and PepsiCo’s portfolio is uniquely positioned to be successful there.”
Guimaraes’ Global Nutrition Group successor will be named shortly. Abdalla and Guimaraes will report to Nooyi. The following key senior operating executive positions remain unchanged in reporting to Nooyi: Saad Abdul-Latif, CEO of PepsiCo Asia, Middle East & Africa; Al Carey, CEO of PepsiCo Americas Beverages; Brian Cornell, CEO of PepsiCo Americas Foods; Hugh Johnston, EVP and CFO; and Mehmood Khan, chief scientific officer for global R&D.
The personnel changes announced are effective immediately. Abdalla will be based in Purchase; Guimaraes will be based in Geneva.
In the featured photo at top is John Compton.