PepsiCo Shuffles Executive Deck: BevNET’s d’Amore Interview

About a month ago, I had the opportunity to sit down with PepsiCo’s Massimo d’Amore to discuss the role of entrepreneurial beverages and innovation within the Pepsi portfolio.  I stumbled a couple of times doing the “set-up,” in which I was supposed to introduce d’Amore as the CEO of PepsiCo Americas Beverages (PAB). Lots of alphabet soup there — we had to do a few takes.

Turns out that the extra takes were superfluous anyway – news out of Purchase, N.Y. today is that d’Amore has ceded the CEO role to Albert Carey, who has run Pepsi-owned Frito-Lay North America as president and CEO since 2006. While d’Amore will report to Carey, the CEO’s geographic responsibilities are split – d’Amore will  continue to have responsibility for the company’s North American Tropicana and Gatorade business, both of which he has played a key role in rebranding, and also its entire Latin American beverage business. That also fits with d’Amore’s newer, more global role in the company.

When I met with d’Amore in August, we spent less of our time discussing flagship colas as we did global innovation – an area that d’Amore assumed control over earlier this summer, as president of the Global Beverages Group (GBG). GBG is focused on what PepsiCo terms global breakthrough innovation, global R&D and global brand management.

The global initiative is a complicated one, simultaneously incorporating and running parallel to the company’s pockets of food and beverage operations and its new Global Nutrition Group. During our interview, d’Amore spelled it out as an attempt to both improve and innovate within the company’s portfolio of existing global brands, like Pepsi and Mountain Dew, and to develop and adapt new brands for potential deployment on an international or global scale.

Here’s our talk about the new direction for the Global Beverages Group at PepsiCo:

Note that the new gigs for d’Amore and Carey weren’t the only changes coming to PepsiCo corporate letterhead: Eric Foss, who has been CEO of Pepsi Beverages Company since the merger of PepsiCo and its former bottling spinoff, Pepsi Beverages Group, is retiring in December, while his chief commercial officer, Tom Greco, is moving to Frito-Lay to replace Carey.