PepsiCo SVP steps down after 20 years at soft drink giant

PURCHASE, NY: Tod MacKenzie is stepping down as SVP of corporate communications at PepsiCo, a post he has held since 2000.

PURCHASE, NY: Tod MacKenzie is stepping down as SVP of corporate communications at PepsiCo, a post he has held since 2000. MacKenzie told PRWeek his decision to leave comes from his “intrigue” in the possibility of exploring a different career path.

“I'm using the 70 rule,” he said. “I turn 50 next year and I have been with PepsiCo for 20 years. I figure I have another 15 maybe even 20 years worth of work left in me and I want to go [write] a chapter two. I don't know whether that means a different industry or a completely different path, but I feel this is the right time to jump into it. It's been a great ride here. Some of my predecessors, not in this job, but guys I have worked for have done that and it's just always appealed to me.”

In his 20 years at PepsiCo, MacKenzie, before becoming SVP, held a variety of positions in PR, and advertising for the company's numerous brands including Pepsi-Cola, Pepsi-Cola International and Frito-Lay Worldwide.

MacKenzie led the company's communications efforts through its merger with Quaker as well as two CEO transitions.

He said PepsiCo has no replacement lined up as of yet. “To ensure a smooth transition I will be around as long as they need and until they have somebody,” MacKenzie said. “They're working on that now.”

In an internal memo to PepsiCo employees, Indra Nooyi, PepsiCo chairman and CEO, said that she spoke to MacKenzie about trying to figure out a way where writing “Chapter Two” would involve something within PepsiCo.

In the memo Nooyi wrote: I was hopeful there might be something to keep him engaged here. Regrettably, Tod has decided to pursue ideas outside of the company after concluding his duties with us in 2008. We are searching for a successor. As you would expect, between now and his departure next year, Tod and I are committed to a smooth transition in every area he leads.

Nooyi also made note of MacKenzie's role in “navigating the Health & Wellness and Environmental Sustainability areas” as well as his efforts in improving internal communications by instituting tools such as PEPline. PEPline is a daily electronic newsletter sent to all PepsiCo associates across the globe with timely company, industry, and community news and updates. It also allows employees to submit feedback and ideas.

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