President Compton leaves PepsiCo for Truck Stops

Sept. 12, 2012
No. 2 guy and heir-apparent returns to Tennessee; replacements promoted from within.

John Compton, PepsiCo president and considered by some to be heir-apparent to the top job(s), left PepsiCo to become CEO of Pilot Flying J Oil Corp., the company announced Sept. 11.

PepsiCo Europe CEO Zein Abdalla succeeds him, and another PepsiCo executive, Enderson Guimaraes, took Abdalla’s job in Europe.

Compton has some connections to Tennessee, having joined PepsiCo as a 21-year-old at the Pulaski, Tenn., Frito-Lay facility. “And since that day has made countless positive contributions to this company,” said PepsiCo Chairman and CEO Indra Nooyi. Compton’s been with PepsiCo 30 years.

“I have deep and personal ties to Tennessee, and my family’s plan all along has been to return to Tennessee at some point,” Compton said. Pilot Flying J is a chain of truck stops in the U.S. and Canada

During Abdalla’s tenure, PepsiCo’s European sales grew from $7 billion to $14 billion. “Along the way he helped PepsiCo become the largest food and beverage company in Russia,” a company statement said.

In his new role as corporate president, Abdalla will oversee PepsiCo's global category groups (Global Beverages, Global Snacks and Global Nutrition), Global Operations (IT, Global Procurement, Supply Chain and Productivity), Global Marketing Services and Corporate Strategy.

Abdalla’s replacement, Guimaraes, was president of PepsiCo's Global Nutrition Group. He just joined the company in 2011.

Abdalla will be based in Pepsico headquarters in Purchase, N.Y.; Guimaraes will be based in Geneva.

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