PEPSICO INSTALLS 'CONCEPT' CHIEFS AT RESTAURANT GROUP: EXECS TO FOCUS ON OVERALL AD ISSUES AT TACO BELL, KGC, AND PIZZA HUT

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PepsiCo appointed what it envisions as the new management team for its restaurant group, which it plans to spin off into a separate company with more than $20 billion in sales worldwide.

Andrall Pearson earlier was named chairman-CEO and David Novak vice chairman-president of the as-yet-unnamed company.

A trio of executives were named president-chief concept officers at each of the major units-KFC, Pizza Hut and Taco Bell. The unusual new positions carry heavy marketing responsibility.

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Whether more traditional marketing titles will survive at the three chains remains to be seen.

The only current senior marketing VP who was boosted to president-chief concept officer is Taco Bell's Peter Waller. An outsider, Mike Rawlings, a former CEO at DDB Needham Worldwide's Dallas Group, was named to the post at Pizza Hut. Jeff Moody, previously senior VP-operations for PepsiCo Restaurants International, took the post at KFC.

A company spokeswoman said PepsiCo would be announcing further realignments within weeks, but did say that the fate of traditional marketing titles at the units hadn't been determined at press time. Bill Cobb is currently senior VP-marketing at Pizza Hut and Peter Foulds is VP-advertising at KFC.

The chief concept officer-a title unusual even in a marketing-driven company like PepsiCo-will be "responsible for the overall leadership of the brand with specific focus on marketing, research and development, and concept development," said a statement.

Each of the three executives was paired with a chief operating officer, freeing them to attend to big-picture marketing and advertising issues.

"Once you have operations in shape, how well you do [in fast-food] will be determined by what kind of programs you bring to keep consumers coming back to your format," said PaineWebber analyst Manny Goldman, who added that the focus on marketing at high levels isn't surprising.

"It's a business that's responsive to creation-it's not toothpaste where growth is sort of predetermined," Mr. Goldman said.

Ad agency decisions will ultimately be up to the president-chief concept officer.

WILL PIZZA HUT MOVE?

Mr. Waller is unlikely to consider moving the $200 million Taco Bell account, which recently went to TBWA Chiat/Day, Venice, Calif., from Bozell, Costa Mesa. Since a new campaign began running, PepsiCo said the chain ended two years of declining same-store sales with a 4% hike for the '97 first quarter.

KFC's $100 million-plus budget at Y&R Advertising, New York, also may not be affected since that unit has been performing well.

The unit seen as closest to an agency shift is Pizza Hut. There has been continuing talk of a review of the $200 million account now at BBDO Worldwide,

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