The chief executive of PepsiCo has said that local Egyptian employees are protecting its facilities in the country as local political protests enter their ninth day.
Speaking to Fox Business Network yesterday (1 February), PepsiCo chairman and CEO Indra Nooyi said that the group’s operations in Egypt had so far not been disrupted and she added that there were no plans for the evacuation of employees.
Continued pressure on Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak to stand down has resulted in widespread political protests across the country, which has hit the operations of a number of multinationals, including Danone, Unilever and Carrefour.
Snacks giant PepsiCo employs around 10,000 people in northern Africa. As a result, Nooyi told Fox that when there is an upheaval, “we worry about it”.
Nevertheless, Nooyi said that multinational companies like PepsiCo are like “little republics”, knowing how to operate in multiple countries and how to work portfolios in order to protect their assets in times of an upheaval.
“As we look across the world, at some point there is some turmoil in some country,” she told Fox. “So what we have to do is wait it out. In every country in which we do business our people are local. So our Egyptian employees are all on the ground and they’re protecting our facilities, our distribution centres and our offices. Our [local] head, Saad [Abdul-Latif] is constantly in touch with all of our executives and we are worried for them because we want to make sure that the country goes through whatever transition it is going through right now in a peaceful way.”
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On Monday, PepsiCo issued a statement confirming that it was flying its own ex-pat employees out of the country.
Unilever also told just-food that it had closed “some of its offices” in the country, although the company declined to give further information on whether the troubles had affected its production operations.