PepsiCo lines up possible successors to Nooyi

New York: Lining up potential successors to its long serving Indian-origin chief Indra Nooyi, global food and beverage giant PepsiCo on Monday unveiled major revamp of its top management positions.

The changes include the group`s biggest money spinner unit, PepsiCo Americas Foods` chief John Compton being promoted to a newly-created post of PepsiCo President, and Brian Cornell, a former executive, being brought back from retail giant Wal-Mart to fill his position.

Along with PepsiCo`s Europe head Zein Abdalla, Compton and Cornell are largely being seen as potential successors to 56-year-old Nooyi, chairman and CEO of USD 65-billion group.

Speculations have been rife for quite some time about a succession plan at PepsiCo, as Nooyi is reportedly facing the investors` wrath for market share and stock price losses.

The new appointments come at a time when PepsiCo is grappling with stiff competition from rival Coca-Cola and Nooyi`s name is being speculated as a possible candidate for the position of the World Bank chief, falling vacant in June.

However, officially there have been no word so far about Nooyi`s exit from the company, which is a major player in foods and beverage business across the world, including India.

"Today marks an important and essential step in PepsiCo`s journey to continue to deliver sustainable growth," Nooyi said in a statement about the management restructuring.

Commenting on the creation of the new President position, Nooyi said, "This executive position will serve as a key driver for our long-term growth strategy".

Earlier in the day, the Wall Street Journal reported that the top management rejig could place Cornell, Compton and Abdalla as the top three candidates to succeed Nooyi.

Nooyi became PepsiCo CEO in 2006, but has been with the group for nearly two decades.