Pepsi taps Walmart vet for U.S. food operations
PepsiCo is said to be shifting its top management team, amid investor discomfort with chief executive Indra Nooyi and worries about whether the company should split its snacks and soda businesses. Former Wal-Mart executive Brian Cornell will rejoin Pepsi to run Americas Food, which includes food brands like Lays potato chips and Doritos tortilla chips. The current U.S. food chief, John Compton, will become Pepsi’s first-ever president.
Nooyi has borne the brunt of investor criticism, reports say. Cornell will now manage the company’s most profitable division. It has also been the center of contention. Despite requests for Pepsi to spin off its snacks division, the company said as recently as last month that it has no plans to do so. Pepsi enjoys between $800 million and $1 billion in synergies between the two businesses, CEO Nooyi said in February. Compton will be responsible for uniting the company’s varied operations in the United States and abroad, the company says.
“Today marks an important and essential step in PepsiCo’s journey to continue to deliver sustainable growth,” Nooyi said in a statement. “John and Brian are superb executives, and will both contribute enormously in their new roles to ensure that we compete effectively and efficiently in the global marketplace.”