CHICAGO (AdAge.com) -- Frito-Lay has tapped Ann Mukherjee as its new senior VP-CMO. Ms. Mukherjee was most recently group VP-marketing at the company. She replaces Jaya Kumar, who was named president, PepsiCo's Quaker Foods & Snacks today. Ms. Mukherjee will report to Frito President-CEO Al Carey.
As head of Frito's snack business, Ms. Mukherjee has championed consumer-generated-marketing efforts, particularly the now-annual "Crash the Super Bowl" contest, which won the USA Today ad meter last year. Frito will expand the contest in 2010, now buying three spots, and raising the cash prize to $5 million -- if it can score the top three spots in the ad meter.
"Ann's work with Doritos' 'Crash the Super Bowl' -- along with a range of groundbreaking marketing for other [Frito] brands, like Cheetos and Tostitos -- has set new standards for innovation in consumer brand marketing for our snacks businesses," Mr. Carey said. "Ann's strong marketing skills and leadership profile make her the right person for the top marketing role at Frito-Lay."
PepsiCo has recently seen a number of marketing-executive departures, and so internal shuffling was certainly to be expected. Frito, however, has seemed to sidestep much of the fracas at other PepsiCo brands, such as Tropicana and Gatorade.
Ms. Mukherjee, an Ad Age Woman to Watch in 2007, joined Frito in 2006, as group VP-marketing. In that role, she led the revitalization of iconic brands like Lay's, Doritos and Cheetos. Prior to joining the Plano, Texas-based Frito team, Ms. Mukherjee served as VP-marketing insights and innovation for PepsiCo's Convenience Foods, out of Chicago. She had a 12-year marketing career prior to joining PepsiCo in 2005, with increasing responsibilities at other companies including Kraft Foods and Diners Club.
Mr. Kumar's predecessor at Quaker, Mark Schiller, is being appointed to a new position within PepsiCo. Frito-Lay hasn't yet made plans for Ms. Mukherjee's replacement.