PepsiCo President Zein Abdalla to Retire

Nov. 12, 2014
Once considered heir apparent to chairman/CEO roles; no reason given.

PepsiCo Inc. on Nov. 6 filed a notice with the Securities and Exchange Commission that Zein Abdalla, president of PepsiCo Inc., notified the company of his decision to retire effective Dec. 31.

No other information was contained in the SEC filing, and the company did not make a public announcement.

Abdalla was believed to be a prime candidate to take over the chairman/CEO roles from Indra Nooyi if and when she retires. So was Brian Cornell, CEO of PepsiCo Americas Foods, but he left the company in August to take over as CEO at Target Corp. Some media reports now tab CFO Hugh Johnston as the leading contender.

Abdalla joined PepsiCo from Mars Inc. in 1995 and served in a number of senior leadership positions during his time with the company. Previous to his current role, which he assumed in September 2012, he was CEO of PepsiCo Europe, responsible for PepsiCo’s food and beverage businesses in Continental Europe as well as the UK and South Africa.

Earlier still, he was general manager of the Europe beverage business unit; general manager of Tropicana Europe; and franchise vice president for Pakistan and the Gulf region.

No reason was given for his retirement. We couldn't determine his age from company documents, but one news organization pegged him at 55.

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