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Gatorade CMO Cindy Alston to Leave Company

20-Year Veteran to Be Succeeded by Matt Knott

By Published on . 1

CHICAGO (AdAge.com) -- Cindy Alston, the executive credited with building Gatorade into a powerhouse over two decades of working with the brand, is leaving her post as chief marketing officer of Gatorade and Propel, Advertising Age has learned.
Cindy Alston
Cindy Alston Credit: Callie Lipkin

Ms. Alston, who is said to be resigning from the PepsiCo unit to spend more time with her family, could not be reached at press time for comment. She will be succeeded by Matt Knott, set to become VP-marketing for the division, according to the marketer. Mr. Knott's most recent title was marketing director for Propel.

Named to role in Spetember
Ms. Alston became CMO only last September after leading Gatorade, under titles such as VP-equity development, through some of its biggest years to nearly a billion gallons; it's now the country's sixth-largest liquid-refreshment megabrand.

She also oversaw the launch of Propel Fitness Water; solved the dilemma of core-user burnout for Gatorade that led to a lighter version called Gatorade Rain; and shepherded the launch of the "Is it in You" campaign for Gatorade by the brand's agency, Element 79, Chicago.

Supermarket sales of non-alcoholic beverages have been relatively soft this year, and Gatorade has seen Coca-Cola Co. rival Powerade gain some share. In the latest available data for sports drinks, Gatorade lost 450 basis points of market share in the four weeks ended April 22, while price per volume grew 2.6% compared to a 1.7% decline the same period the year before, according to Morgan Stanley. Powerade share, by comparison, grew 540 basis points on an average price per volume decline of 7.5% compared to a 3.8% decline a year ago.
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