INDIA – PepsiCo India has announced the appointment of Jagrut Kotecha as its new Chief Executive Officer (CEO), succeeding Ahmed El Sheikh, who served as CEO for the past seven years.  

The company announced the leadership change on Friday, stating that Ahmed El Sheikh will transition to the role of CEO for the Middle East Business Unit starting March 2024. 

Eugene Willemsen, CEO of Africa, Middle East, and South Asia (AMESA) at PepsiCo, acknowledged Ahmed El Sheikh’s contributions to the company’s success in India, stating, “India remains a pivotal market for PepsiCo, playing a crucial role in our global strategy. 

Over the last six years, Ahmed has been instrumental in transforming our business, driving innovation, and steering the team through challenging landscapes.” 

Jagrut Kotecha, currently serving as the Chief Marketing Officer in AMESA, will assume the role of PepsiCo India’s CEO in March 2024.  

Kotecha said, “Having been part of the PepsiCo family for the past 30 years, I have witnessed firsthand the unwavering commitment of PepsiCo India to excellence and innovation. I am excited to drive forward our mission, ensuring continued success and growth in the Indian market.” 

The leadership change comes at a time when PepsiCo’s snacks business in India faces intense competition, resulting in a decline in market share and volumes.  

The company aims to regain its foothold in the Indian market, focusing on innovation and customer satisfaction. 

“PepsiCo India remains dedicated to strengthening its operations in India, reinforcing its commitment to innovation and customer satisfaction. This change not only signifies a new chapter for PepsiCo India but also reaffirms the company’s dedication to nurturing leadership talent and adapting to evolving market dynamics,” the company stated. 

PepsiCo, known for its iconic brands such as Pepsi, Lay’s, Kurkure, Tropicana, Gatorade, and Quaker, entered the Indian market in 1989 and has since become one of the largest food and beverage businesses in the country. 

For the financial year ending on March 31, 2023, PepsiCo India Holdings reported a consolidated revenue surge of 28.47%, reaching Rs 8,127.07 crore from the sale of products and services 

PepsiCo appoints Ram Krishnan as CEO 

Concurrently, the beverage giant has also announced the appointment of Ram Krishnan as the CEO for PepsiCo Beverages North America. 

Krishnan is set to replace Kirk Tanner who retires from his current role as CEO on February 2. Tanner retires from PepsiCo after 32 years of service to the company. 

He assumed the role of CEO for PepsiCo Beverages North America in 2019. Over the years, Tanner’s responsibilities included serving as President of PepsiCo Global Foodservice, Senior Vice President and General Manager of Frito-Lay’s West Business Division; Vice President of Sales at PepsiCo U.K. and Ireland; and multiple Vice President roles of Frito-Lay North America regions. 

Krishnan currently serves as Chief Executive Officer of International Beverages and Chief Commercial Officer for PepsiCo. 

Speaking on Ram Krishnan’s appointment, Ramon Laguarta, PepsiCo Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, said: “Ram is the ideal leader to take the helm of our North America beverage business and we are fortunate to be able to proudly appoint him from within our organization.  

His vast experience leading International Beverages and our global commercial agenda, paired with his roots in North America senior executive roles, make him a force to accelerate our beverage growth agenda.” 

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