PepsiCo has appointed a new senior vice president and General Counsel. The company announced yesterday that Larry D. Thompson, 58, would assume the role, succeeding David R. Andrews, 62, who will retire in February.

Andrews made a three-year commitment to PepsiCo in 2002, delaying his retirement after serving as the Legal Adviser to the US State Department from 1997 to 2000, to lead the company's legal and government affairs functions and to help secure PepsiCo's next General Counsel.

Thompson will have responsibility for PepsiCo's worldwide legal function, as well as its government affairs organisation and the company's charitable Foundation. He will report directly to chairman and CEO Steven S. Reinemund, and serve on PepsiCo's senior executive committee. He will be based at PepsiCo's headquarters in Purchase, NY.

"Larry Thompson brings an impressive array of legal and leadership skills and experience to PepsiCo," said Reinemund in a statement. "From his legal and policy prowess demonstrated at the most senior levels of the US government to his deep experience in private practice, he brings a wealth of capabilities to serve our global enterprise."

"I also want to thank Dave Andrews for deferring his retirement plans and successfully steering PepsiCo through a period of unprecedented legal and governance change," Reinemund added. "The results we have obtained have been literally second to none. Corporate governance rating agencies such as Institutional Shareholders Services (ISS), and Governance Metrics International (GMI) have ranked PepsiCo at or near the highest ratings for corporate governance, and that is a credit to Dave's leadership. I am confident that the solid legal foundation Dave has built for the company will be smoothly transitioned to Larry over the next six months."

Thompson joins PepsiCo from the Brookings Institution in Washington, D.C., where he is a Senior Fellow. He is also a member of the board of directors for Delta Airlines.