The company today said Ms. Nicholson, who oversaw some $250 million in U.S. measured-media spending last year, will depart in order to "pursue other interests, like travel and spending time with family." A spokeswoman said no departure date had been set, and there was no information to report regarding a potential successor.
Ms. Nicholson took on the top marketing slot in 2005, following a quick ascent through the company's ranks. During her tenure she shepherded Sierra Mist into a top 10 brand and oversaw the successful launch of Mountain Dew Code Red, which went on to become a runaway hit.
She joined the company in 1997 as director of innovations in the fountain beverage division, rising to director-marketing for the Mountain Dew brand in 2000. From there, she went on to hold increasingly larger roles, first as VP-flavors and then VP-non-carbonated soft drinks.
In the last five years, measured media spending within Pepsi-Cola North America has dropped off significantly, down 39% to $254.4 million, according to TNS Media Intelligence. Omnicom Group's BBDO, New York is the company's agency of record.