Unexpected Retirement Shakes Up PepsiCo Succession
Top exec, Nooyi favorite leaving at end of year
PURCHASE, N.Y. -- PepsiCo Inc. president Zein Abdalla notified PepsiCo of his decision to retire from the company effective Dec. 31, 2014, the company said in a U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC) filing on November 6.
Abdalla had been considered a favorite to succeed chief executive officer Indra Nooyi, according to Bloomberg report.
The company did not give a reason for the departure, and it did not announce a replacement.
The company named Abdalla president in September 2012 after managing the company's European unit.
The post is among the highest at Purchase, N.Y.-based PepsiCo, the world's largest snack maker and second-biggest soda maker.
Chief financial officer Hugh Johnston also is considered a likely successor to Nooyi, who has not said how long she intends to stay.
"Zein's departure would suggest either Indra is staying for a very long time or Hugh Johnston is the likely successor," Ali Dibadj, an analyst at Sanford C. Bernstein & Co. in New York, told the news agency. "I would bet on the latter."
The company said in statement provided to Bloomberg that "Zein has poured his heart and soul into PepsiCo for nearly 20 years. His leadership has helped us to consistently deliver strong results while also positioning PepsiCo for sustainable long-term growth and value creation."
Purchase, N.Y.-based PepsiCo is a global food and beverage leader with net revenues of more than $65 billion and a product portfolio that includes 22 brands that generate more than $1 billion each in annual retail sales. Its main businesses are Quaker, Tropicana, Gatorade, Frito-Lay and Pepsi-Cola.