NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- It's hard to believe PepsiCo didn't have a global chief marketing officer, but that was the case until December when Jill Beraud, a Victoria's Secret alum, became the first to step into the role for the $40 billion company. Her goal is to build PepsiCo's food and beverage brands on a global scale and integrate the company's global marketing efforts. It's a tall order but one that Ms. Beraud, 49, is prepared to take on.
She called her challenge a "once-in-a-lifetime opportunity." When PepsiCo called to talk over the position, she was marking her 13th year at Limited Brands, parent of Victoria's Secret. The role was exciting and intriguing, she said, as was the opportunity to work with PepsiCo CEO Indra Nooyi. "I'd been reading about Indra since she took over the company and all of the incredible things that she's been doing," Ms. Beraud said. "I've been watching the company with admiration from afar."
Ms. Beraud's move comes during a transformational period for PepsiCo. In October, Ms Nooyi said the company would commit $1.2 billion over three years to sweeping changes, including a complete overhaul of its carbonated-soft-drink portfolio. Since then, PepsiCo has grabbed headlines for its packaging redesigns and advertising-agency changes.
"One reason I wanted to come to PepsiCo was because there is so much change going on," Ms. Beraud said. "When there's a lot of change, there's great receptivity to doing things differently, and a great deal of openness to new ideas and new ways of thinking."
An area Ms. Beraud excels at is cultivating good ideas, said Tom Carroll, president-CEO of TBWA Worldwide, a Pepsi agency. He worked with Ms. Beraud in the 1990s at the startup agency Blum/Herbstreith. Even then, he says, her ability to listen and push forward with the best idea, even if it was not her own, made her stand out. "We did four new-business pitches together," he recalled. "And we won all four."
For now, Ms. Beraud is simply getting up to speed, traveling to India, Russia and China and learning about cultural nuances in eating and drinking habits. She's also been logging plenty of frequent-flier miles between Purchase, N.Y., and Columbus, Ohio, where her two daughters, ages 8 and 11, are finishing out the school year. They're looking forward to the big move this summer, she says, and her eldest is embracing Mom's new company.
"She's already doing Pepsi advertising," said Ms. Beraud, laughing, and later explaining that her daughter has been throwing out ideas to help her. "She has a future. She relates more to Pepsi than she did Victoria's Secret."