Pepsi's US CEO Quits, Citing Entrenchment at Top

01 April 2005

Maybe PepsiCo's US chief executive Gary M Rodkin, smitten with a bout of insomnia, was idly channelhopping through late nite TV and stumbled on a rerun of Dudley Moore's 1968 classic movie comedy 30 Is a Dangerous Age, Cynthia.

And maybe - just maybe - despite the age disparity, this gave the fifty-two year old Rodkin pause for thought.

Or maybe not.

The only incontrovertible fact is that PepsiCo's top US honcho took stock of his position in the cola pecking-order and decided to quit before anno domini finally puts paid to his chances of being top dog elsewhere.

The widely respected marketer told the Wall Street Journal: "I really want to do something where I can put my firm stamp on it as the guy who's running the company."

And with Pepsi's current chairman/ceo Steve Reinemund (a mere stripling of 56) dug in deeper than the Rock of Gibraltar, Rodkin has seen the writing on the wall and resigned. "The time is right for me to do this, while I'm still young enough," he said, claiming he had been approached about other jobs.

Rodkin's responsibilities will henceforth be split between two seasoned Pepsi stalwarts - Dawn Hudson (47) and John C Compton (43).

The former will oversee development, marketing and sales of PepsiCo soft drinks, bottled water and other beverages distributed across North America; the latter, most recently vice chairman of Pepsi's Frito-Lay unit, takes on the Quaker Foods, Tropicana and Gatorade businesses for the US and Canada.

Both executive will report directly to Reinemund.

Data sourced from Wall Street Journal Online; additional content by WARC staff