In this role, Laguarta will “shape” PepsiCo’s corporate strategy and oversee the Walkers maker’s global category groups, its global operations and public policy functions.
Operationally, Laguarta will work closely with Mehmood Khan, PepsiCo’s vice chairman and chief scientific officer, to “drive category innovation and progress against PepsiCo’s sustainability goals”.
Laguarta will continue to report to chairman and CEO Indra Nooyi. He has worked at PepsiCo for more than 20 years. As the head of PepsiCo’s Europe and Sub-Saharan Africa unit, Laguarta “led the transformation of the company’s European product portfolio and significantly strengthened PepsiCo’s position in key growth markets”, the company said.
Laguarta’s career at PepsiCo includes stints as president of developing and emerging markets within the US group’s European operations and president of its Eastern European arm.
Laxman Narasimhan, the CEO of PepsiCo’s business in Latin America, will also take on responsibility for its business in Europe and Sub-Saharan Africa business. He will serve as CEO of both units.
Meanwhile, Silviu Popovici, the president of the Quaker owner’s operations in Russia, Ukraine and the CIS, has been named president of the wider Europe and Sub-Saharan Africa division. In his new role, Popovici will report to Narasimhan.
“Ramon, Laxman and Silviu are highly respected executives with long track records of delivering strong results throughout their careers,” Nooyi said. “These moves continue our longstanding practice of elevating great leaders within PepsiCo and allowing them to apply their capabilities in new ways that support our strategies for growth.”
The last person to hold the position of president at PepsiCo was Zein Abdalla, who left the business in 2014. Asked why strategically PepsiCo has brought back the role, a spokesperson referred just-food back to its statement and Nooyi’s remarks.
The changes will have no impact on PepsiCo’s external financial reporting structure and the company will continue to report segments as Frito Lay North America, Latin America, Quaker Foods North America, North America Beverages, Europe and Sub-Saharan Africa, and Asia Middle East and north Africa.