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PepsiCo Shakes Up Management Team With Former Sam's Club CEO

Food and beverage giant PepsiCo, Inc. (PEP: Quote) has recruited Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (WMT: Quote) executive Brian Cornell to be the new CEO of PepsiCo Americas Foods, effective immediately.

Cornell will succeed John Compton, who will take charge of the newly created position of president, the company announced Monday. Both Cornell and Compton will report directly to Chairman and CEO Indra Nooyi.

The company made the two appointments in order to strengthen the management team as part of the new global structure announced today.

"Today marks an important and essential step in PepsiCo's journey to continue to deliver sustainable growth. 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," Nooyi said in a statement.

According to the Wall Street Journal, the management rejig will see a few names coming up as replacement candidates for Nooyi, who has been facing shareholder disgruntlement due to loss of market share to fierce rival Coca Cola, Inc. (KO).

Though nothing is clear on the succession plan, Cornell, Compton and PepsiCo's European operations chief Zein Abdalla are seen as the top internal candidates to succeed India-born Nooyi. Meanwhile, there were also reports recently on Nooyi as a potential candidate for the next World Bank chief.

In his earlier stint with PepsiCo six years ago, Cornell headed its North America's Food services division from 2003 to 2004 before leaving the company. At PepsiCo from 1991 until 2004, he has also held several general management positions, including president of Tropicana, president of PepsiCo beverages for Europe and Africa, and president of PepsiCo North America Foodservice.

Cornell most recently was President and CEO, Sam's Club, a division of Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. In his new role, he will be responsible for Frito-Lay, Quaker, PepsiCo Mexico, South America Foods, PepsiCo customer teams and all Power of One activities within the Americas.

Meanwhile, Compton is a 28-year PepsiCo veteran and will now be responsible for its existing global category groups, Global Operations, Global Marketing Services and Corporate Strategy.

"By working more collaboratively and efficiently across our global businesses, we have the opportunity to elevate our brands, innovate for new global platforms, quickly lift and shift the best ideas around the world, build world-class systems and accelerate our productivity agenda," Compton noted.

PepsiCo is the maker of Pepsi-Cola drinks, Tropicana juices and Gatorade sports drinks, Quaker Oats, Frito-Lay Chips.

PEP closed Friday's regular trading session at $63.15, up $0.19 on a volume of 4.10 million shares, lower than the three-month average volume of 7.22 million shares. In the past 52-week period, the stock has been trading in a range of $58.50 to $71.89.

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by RTT Staff Writer

For comments and feedback: editorial@rttnews.com

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