In January, Sarah Robb O'Hagan was named president of Gatorade North America and global chief marketing officer for sports nutrition, a new post created at Chicago-based Gatorade Inc. She succeeds Rich Beck, who became senior vice-president of PepsiCo global supply-chain operations.
A member of Crain's "40 Under 40" honor roll last year, O'Hagan, who holds a bachelor's in communication from the University of Auckland, is in charge of the almost $5-billion Gatorade business unit with the aim of turning the drink into a global brand. She has been chief marketing officer of Gatorade, a subsidiary of Purchase, N.Y.-based PepsiCo Inc., since 2008, challenged to reposition and make the aging sports drink more appealing to teen athletes. She led the rebranding of the sports drink from Gatorade to G, basically using the blogosphere to identify Gatorade customers, and launched two G sports nutrition lines for competitive high-school athletes and for pro athletes. The company will launch a third line of drinks and nutrition bars, for fitness athletes, this year. She came to PepsiCo from Nike Inc. And yes, she is a marathon runner.
"These innovations, along with breakthrough marketing communications, have contributed to outstanding sales growth and improved perceptions of the Gatorade brand," says Massimo d'Amore, chief of PepsiCo Beverages Americas. "With that kind of momentum, Sarah is well poised to tackle the global sports nutrition marketplace in 2011 and beyond."