Blog: Andy MortonLessons from the past in PepsiCo heir-apparent talk

Andy Morton | 31 March 2016

The soft drinks world is abuzz today over what an executive shake-up at PepsiCo might mean to on-going speculation over CEO Indra Nooyi's successor. According to some, Al Carey's promotion from CEO of PepsiCo's North America Beverages division to overall North America head has made him favourite for the big chair.

It's a good time, then, to remember what happened to Nooyi's last supposed heir-apparent.

John Compton, a 30-year lifer with PepsiCo, was made president in March 2012 and was seen as Nooyi's natural successor. Less than eight months later, however, Compton had left to head up a truck stop operator in Tennessee in the one of the more blatant examples of “heir today, gone tomorrow” the category has seen.

Furthermore, Nooyi was under a lot of pressure at the time, as PepsiCo fell behind Coca-Cola in the US market. The company is still facing challenges, but appears far more robust today, with a share price 63% higher than when Compton became president.

Nooyi will celebrate a decade at PepsiCo's helm this October. She may not be ready to stand aside just yet.

Sectors: HR – personnel, Soft drinks, Water

Companies: PepsiCo

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