PepsiCo president exits firm13 September 2012
John Compton, PepsiCo's president has made a surprise departure from the snacks and drink firm after being confirmed as truck stop and travel centre firm Pilot Flying J's new chief executive.
PepsiCo moved swiftly to appoint Compton's successor after announcing that Zein Abdalla, currently the firm's European head of operations has been promoted to the position of president with immediate effect.
Abdalla has overseen a doubling of PepsiCo’s European revenues to $14 billion since he was appointed to the position in 2008. He has also integrated the $5 billion acquisition of Russian dairy firm Wimm-Bill-Dann.
Indra Nooyi, PepsiCo's chief executive said that she was “sad” to see Compton leave the business and praised his “countless positive contributions to this company”.
"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,” added Nooyi.
"He (Abdalla) led the transformation of the European portfolio, shifting it towards the higher-growth markets in the region; and along the way he also helped PepsiCo become the largest food and beverage company in Russia."
Compton had been tipped to replace under pressure Nooyi but some analysts now believe she will remain in the role long-term after a number of key shareholders pledged their support.
Compton, 51, becomes the latest high-profile executive to leave PepsiCo after the departures of Eric Foss and Massimo d'Amore who jointly headed up the firm's beverage business. Frito-Lay executive All Carey left the firm last September and Robb O'Hagan left last month.
In February, PepsiCo, which generated revenue of $66.5 billion last year said that it would axe 8,700 jobs and increase its marketing spend by up to $600 million in an attempt to revive the firm’s stagnating share price. The firm announced a sharp drop in annual profits in July and expects full-year profit for 2012 to be down by 5%.
Nooyi said that it would take 18-24 months to assess whether the strategy to increase the firm’s share price and close the gap on Coca-Cola’s growing market share is working.
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