One key announcement in PepsiCo’s earnings call yesterday was the departure of Massimo d’Amore, the company’s Global Beverage Group chief and the former CEO of Pepsi Beverages Americas.
The suave Italian had held a number of key marketing and branding positions within PepsiCo over his 17-year career, but recently found himself in a confusing — and likely untenable — situation in which his portfolio responsibilities had been maintained for several countries but not North America, and he was reporting to the man who had replaced him as CEO of PBA, Al Carey.
As a marketer, d’Amore was known for both innovation and tight control. He received credit for breaking down and rebuilding the Gatorade brand after he and PepsiCo CEO Indra Nooyi recognized that the brand needed to re-focus on athletic performance, but also took the blame for the failed rebranding of Tropicana, a packaging move that was quickly scuttled in the face of public outcry.
An advocate of innovation across the company’s beverage lines, d’Amore was a well-known fan of the company’s acquisition of Naked Juice and O.N.E. Coconut Water, often pointing to those brands as a emblematic of the company’s ongoing drive to incorporate nutritional priorities into its beverage portfolio.
The move came as PepsiCo announced it was going to be devoting more cash to its marketing spend; it also came as the company began to thin out middle-management ranks in a cost-cutting move.