USA – American multinational food, snack, and beverage corporation PepsiCo has created a new organization to accelerate equality and inclusion efforts both within and outside the company.  

According to the maker of Lays chips, the new Multicultural Business and Equity Development Organization will help address inequalities for historically excluded people and underserved businesses and communities. 

It will operate across PepsiCo’s North America beverage and convenient food businesses and integrate its equality work streams into one-team approach that will enable the company to drive sustained change and scale faster across its North American businesses. 

Specific areas of focus for the company include accelerating retailer business development in multicultural communities. 

The unit will also explore ways to expand existing successful programming, including Pepsi Dig In, Black Restaurant Accelerator Program and Juntos Crecemos, which are aimed at supporting Black and Hispanic communities. 

It will also leverage the scale of PepsiCo to drive investment in and support of diverse suppliers and partners. 

It will also carry out ebranding and national expansion of the successful Pepsi Stronger Together community engagement program while at the same time elevating PepsiCo’s efforts to be an employer of choice for diverse cohorts. 

Derek Lewis appointed unit President

To lead this effort, the New-york based corporation has appointed 34-year PepsiCo veteran Derek Lewis as the first president of the new outfit. 

Lewis has played a role in the company’s broader diversity and community engagement agenda, including leading the creation and expansion of Pepsi Stronger Together. 

In addition, Derek oversaw the “She Got Now” internship program providing career opportunities for HBCU female students and the Historically Better Gala honoring Black trailblazers. 

Lewis, who most recently was president of PepsiCo Beverages North America’s South Division, will now be tasked with the role of ensuring end-to-end business inequalities are addressed. 

He will report to Kirk Tanner, PepsiCo Beverages North America CEO and Steven Williams, PepsiCo Foods North America CEO. 

 “This is a significant move, which we believe will increase engagement and impact internally with employees and externally with consumers and enable greater progress for the future,” said Tanner 

The creation of this organization is part of PepsiCo’s Racial Equality Journey, which the company first announced in 2020 and centered around investing more than US$570 million over five years to increase Black and Hispanic representation.   

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