PepsiCo Shakes Up U.S. Management, Joining Chips and Soda

  • North America Beverages CEO will now oversee three businesses
  • Frito-Lay CEO is leaving to become leader of another company

PepsiCo Inc. promoted executive Al Carey to a new position overseeing all three of its North American beverage and snack businesses, a move that more tightly integrates the sprawling company’s food and drink operations.

Carey, a 64-year-old who previously led the North America Beverages unit, will now be in charge of the Frito-Lay and Quaker Foods divisions on the continent as well, the company said Wednesday in a statement. Frito-Lay’s current North America head, Tom Greco, is leaving PepsiCo to become a CEO in a different industry.

Carey, who also was once CEO of Frito-Lay, faces a host of challenges in North America. Though the region has outperformed some overseas markets, consumers are increasingly health-conscious, restraining the growth of soda and salty snacks. Chief Executive Officer Indra Nooyi has coped with the stagnation by trimming expenses, raising prices and introducing new products.

No Breaking Up

Combining drinks and snacks under a single leader reflects PepsiCo’s dedication to remaining one company. Activist investor Nelson Peltz had called for the two divisions to be separated, saying they weren’t compatible and could generate more of a return for shareholders as distinct businesses. Nooyi has opposed the idea, seeking to streamline the company with cost cutting instead.

Shares of PepsiCo, based in Purchase, New York, rose 1.3 percent to $102.69 at the close, before the personnel moves were announced. The shares are up 2.8 percent this year.

Kirk Tanner, chief operating officer of North America Beverages, and Vivek Sankaran, the operating chief of Frito-Lay, also were promoted. Each will each add president to his title.

“PepsiCo’s deep bench of world-class leaders and our top-notch talent development capabilities allow us to elevate our next generation of talent into bigger roles,” Nooyi said in the statement.

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