The company named John Compton, currently CEO of its Americas Foods division, to the newly created position of president of PepsiCo. It also named Brian Cornell, a PepsiCo alum who most recently ran the Sam's Club unit of Wal-Mart Stores Inc
The management moves are about Nooyi and PepsiCo doing some 'bench strengthening' and bringing back a talented executive, said Beverage Digest Editor John Sicher, citing sources who also said Compton should not be viewed as the sole heir apparent to Nooyi.
Nooyi's five-year tenure has been hurt by the global financial crisis, recession and unprecedented commodity inflation. She has been criticized for taking her eye off the core business of sodas to expand into healthier products such as hummus and drinkable oatmeal.
She has come under pressure lately from Wall Street for a stagnant stock price and a lagging North American beverage business, though she has support of PepsiCo's board of directors. She recently announced a broad plan aimed at boosting performance.
Cornell, who headed Sam's Club for nearly three years until he left last month, previously held senior roles at the Michaels arts and crafts specialty retailer, where he led a turnaround, and was chief marketing officer for supermarket chain Safeway
Prior to that, Cornell worked at PepsiCo in a number of positions, including president of Tropicana and of PepsiCo North America Foodservice. He will report to Nooyi, who praised him for having what it takes to be a senior executive of a large public company.
John Compton, who has worked at PepsiCo for 28 years, will take up the newly created job of president of PepsiCo and oversee global operations and look for ways to reduce PepsiCo's costs.
PepsiCo shares were up 41 cents, or 0.6 percent, at $63.56 in premarket trading.
(Reporting By Phil Wahba in New York. Additional reporting by Mihir Dalal in Bangalore; Editing by Maureen Bavdek and Mark Porter)