Current Americas Foods CEO John Compton will take up the new position of president of PepsiCo

Current Americas Foods CEO John Compton will take up the new position of president of PepsiCo

PepsiCo has named former senior Wal-Mart executive Brian Cornell as head of its Americas Foods division, promoting the unit's CEO, John Compton, to group president.

As part of a new global structure, announced today (12 March), former PepsiCo executive Cornell has rejoined the company as CEO of PepsiCo Americas Foods. Most recently, he held the position of president & CEO of Sam's Club, a division of Wal-Mart Stores.

Current Americas Foods CEO Compton will take up the newly-created position of president of PepsiCo, responsible for integrating the snack and beverage firm's global operations and brands more closely.

The appointments position both men, along with European operations chief Zein Abdalla, as the most likely internal candidates to succeed CEO Indra Nooyi, reports have suggested.

The soft drinks group has been under pressure to deliver a plan for long-lasting growth in its native North America, amid concern that the company has lost focus.

Late last year, the New York Post reported that members of the PepsiCo board had expressed frustration at the lack of a potential successor to Nooyi, citing frustrations at a number of "marketing missteps" and flat stocks.

Under the new structure, Cornell will report to Nooyi and be responsible for Frito-Lay North America, Quaker Foods & Snacks North America, PepsiCo Mexico, South America Foods, PepsiCo customer teams and all Power of One activities within the Americas.

Compton will continue to report to Nooyi and assume responsibility for all of PepsiCo's existing global category groups, operations, marketing services and corporate strategy. He will be responsible for driving innovation and brand building while looking for ways to "significantly reduce" the overall cost structure of the company.

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