Major Changes at PepsiCo as Marketing Department Reorganizes

Jill Beraud Leaving as Brad Jakeman Joins, Simon Lowden Gets New Role

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Jill Beraud
Jill Beraud
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PepsiCo is undergoing a major transformation in its beverage marketing ranks.

The company is restructuring its marketing department to include three new marketing roles, with an eye toward embracing a more global approach. The three executives, expected to be two external candidates and one internal candidate, will take on various duties handled by Jill Beraud, chief marketing officer-PepsiCo Beverages America. Ms. Beraud has chosen to leave the company amid the restructuring, according to executives close to PepsiCo.

Brad Jakeman, who gaming giant Activision Blizzard confirmed today had left his role as exec VP-CMO, will be taking on the role of head marketer for the Pepsi trademark globally. According to executives familiar with the matter, his new role will involve responsibility for Pepsi, Diet Pepsi and Pepsi Max, primarily, though he will also be working on the company's other soft-drink brands, such as Mtn Dew and Sierra Mist.

A second executive is expected to be the global chief marketer for beverage brands, not including carbonated soft drinks, Gatorade or Tropicana. That would leave brands such as SoBe, Aquafina and Propel. Simon Lowden, who currently has a chief marketer role for Pepsi International, is said to be taking on the role of CMO for the U.S. beverages business.

Brad Jakeman
Brad Jakeman

According to the executives, PepsiCo plans to announce the moves in the coming weeks. It's most likely that all three executives will report to Massimo d'Amore, CEO-PepsiCo Beverages America, in some fashion. A PepsiCo spokesman declined to comment.

The moves position PepsiCo to embrace more global ad executions, a key differentiator between it and rival Coca-Cola. In the last several years, Coca-Cola has embraced a more global approach, for example, in 2008 running Olympic-themed ads from Wieden & Kennedy in at least 25 countries, while 150 countries used some element of the Olympic campaign. And, most recently, Fanta launched a campaign in 190 countries. Coca-Cola has also trimmed its global agency roster from 82 creative agencies to a number in the 30s.

PepsiCo, by comparison, executes in a more local or regional fashion. For example, while its new logo rolled out in the U.S. in late 2008, the company continued to run ads featuring the old logo six months later overseas. BBDO handles Pepsi outside of the U.S., while TBWA/Chiat/Day handles it stateside. OMD handles media globally. A PepsiCo spokesman declined to comment on what any potential restructuring could mean for its agencies.

Pepsi and Diet Pepsi have both been losing ground. In 2010, Pepsi's share of the soft-drink market fell 0.4%, allowing Diet Coke to move past it as the second biggest soft drink brand in the U.S. Diet Pepsi saw its share fall 0.3% last year, according to Beverage Digest. Other brands, including Mtn Dew and SoBe have been strong performers, however. Still, acknowledging the need for an increased marketing presence, PepsiCo announced this spring that it would ramp up ad spending across its beverage portfolio by 30% this year. That will include new ads for Pepsi, Diet Pepsi and Gatorade. The company is also sinking $60 million into its sponsorship and integration with "X Factor," the Simon Cowell-created music competition that is meant to compete with "American Idol," which is sponsored by Coke.

Ms. Beraud was brought in as the global CMO for PepsiCo in late 2008 but was shifted in mid-2009 to head marketing for the beverages division when Dave Burwick departed. It's not clear where Ms. Beraud will be headed. She joined PepsiCo from Limited Brands, parent of Victoria's Secret, where she spent 13 years. Ms. Beraud was named an Ad Age Woman to Watch in 2009. At the time, she called the global CMO role exciting and intriguing, noting that she had admired PepsiCo from afar for years.

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