Melisa Tezanos: 40 Under 40 2012

Senior director, communications, PepsiCo

Melisa Tezanos truly has the "X Factor." Leading Pepsi’s extensive communications around the hit talent show is just one of many achievements in a career that has seen her work all around the world and across all major facets of communications.

In her current role, Tezanos drives all communications for Pepsi, Diet Pepsi, Pepsi Max, and Pepsi Next, which launched earlier this year. She also leads PepsiCo Beverages’ Hispanic communications efforts. One of her innovative marketing programs was the Pepsi Refresh Project grant program, which earned more than 3 billion impressions in 2010 across media, and was recognized by Forbes as one of the top five social media programs of all time.

Other highlights include the Diet Pepsi Skinny Can launch at New York Fashion Week, and the Pepsi Max Crash the Super Bowl 2011 program, which earned more than 2 billion impressions, netting 54,700 Tweets and reaching 66 million followers. Her work around The X Factor included winner Melanie Amaro’s highly successful Super Bowl commercial.

Tezanos also excelled while director of investor relations at PepsiCo with the company’s IR team, earning Institutional Investor magazine’s top ranking in 2008, 2009, and 2010. While in that role, Tezanos planned and executed PepsiCo’s first investor meeting in four years at Yankee Stadium.

Before joining PepsiCo, she worked at General Motors, where she handled global financial communications during a tough period of financial distress, including financial restatements, significant asset sales, and record-setting losses. Previously at GM, she masterminded the launch of America’s most beloved truck, the Chevrolet Silverado, earning Truck of the Year and North American Truck of the Year in awards in Motor Trend.

"Melisa is a bright star on the forefront of what stands to be an incredible career in public relations," say her nominators. "This accolade not only credits her individual accomplishments, but also the work she has done to demonstrate the phenomenal impact a true PR pro can have on any business."

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