Food and beverage giant PepsiCo has announced the appointment of Dr Mehmood Khan as chief scientific officer, a newly-created role.

Khan will guide the company's long-term research strategy and agenda for business opportunities, PepsiCo said yesterday (12 December), reporting directly to chairman and CEO Indra Nooyi.

He will also provide global leadership and support to division research and development groups in the areas of enterprise research planning, R&D portfolio management, next generation technologies, nutritional standards, food safety and regulation, and quality assurance, the company added.

"Mehmood is an accomplished medical professional with a proven R&D track record and I am proud and delighted to welcome him to PepsiCo," said Nooyi. "I know he'll play a key role helping us maintain and step up our leadership in innovation, developing products that meet the ever-changing needs of today's consumers."

With 20 years' experience in the medical and pharmaceutical field, Khan most recently served as president of Takeda Pharmaceuticals Global Research and Development Center. As an MD with specialties in internal medicine and endocrinology, he has extensive academic and clinical experience, having worked at the Mayo Clinic and spent six years with the department of food, sciences and nutrition at the University of Minnesota.