PepsiCo Launches Multicultural Business and Equity Development Organization

34-year beverage, food company veteran appointed to president position
Derek Lewis
Photograph courtesy of PepsiCo

PURCHASE, N.Y. — PepsiCo has created a new organization to accelerate efforts inside and outside the company to help address inequalities for historically excluded people and underserved businesses and communities.

The new Multicultural Business and Equity Development Organization will operate across PepsiCo’s North America beverage and convenient food businesses and integrate work streams aimed at addressing a variety of business and people priorities into a one-team approach that will enable the company to drive sustained change and scale faster across its North American businesses.

The company has appointed Derek Lewis as the first president of Multicultural Business and Equity Development to lead this effort. Lewis is a 34-year PepsiCo veteran who most recently was president of PepsiCo Beverages North America’s South Division.

In his new role, he will create and lead a new organization tasked with ensuring end-to-end business inequalities are addressed to maximize overall results and impact, according to Purchase, N.Y.-based PepsiCo.

Specific focus areas of the organization include:

  • Accelerating retailer business development in multicultural communities.
  • Expanding existing successful programming, including Pepsi Dig In, Black Restaurant Accelerator Program and Juntos Crecemos, all aimed at supporting Black and Hispanic communities.
  • Leveraging the scale of PepsiCo to drive investment in and support of diverse suppliers and partners.
  • Rebranding and national expansion of the successful Pepsi Stronger Together community engagement program to work across the food and beverage businesses and increase scale and awareness across North America.
  • Elevating PepsiCo’s efforts to be an employer of choice for diverse cohorts.

Lewis will report to Kirk Tanner, PepsiCo Beverages North America CEO and Steven Williams, PepsiCo Foods North America CEO.

“To take the next step in its Racial Equality Journey, PepsiCo is calling on one of its top executives to lead an organization embedded in the company’s two largest businesses with a focus on providing new educational opportunities, building up small businesses and creating rewarding job opportunities in an effort to support underserved businesses and communities,” Tanner said.  “This is a significant move, which we believe will increase engagement and impact internally with employees and externally with consumers and enable greater progress for the future.”

The creation of this organization is part of PepsiCo’s Racial Equality Journey, which the company first announced in 2020 and centered around investing more than $570 million over five years to increase Black and Hispanic representation.  

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