Ms. Johnson, 42, worked with Pepsi's ethnic and urban team and Hispanic agency Dieste Harmel & Partners, Dallas, partly owned by Omnicom Group, to create "Reventon." Now plans are in development to partner with Pepsi to target African-American consumers. "She was the force selling the program within the Frito and Pepsi organizations," says an agency executive. "She's indomitable."
Starting late last year, Ms. Johnson attracted a new consumer group-and incremental sales-by introducing products from Sabritas, a Frito Lay-owned Mexican snack giant. She's aiming the products at the U.S. Hispanic heartland that especially likes the three C's: chili, citrus and cheese flavors.
Until now, Ms. Johnson's career has been in the general market, most recently as Frito-Lay's VP-customer marketing. Although born and raised in New Orleans, she learned Spanish from her parents, who are from Guatemala.
She has her own test market for snacks, with a 14-year-old daughter and 6-year-old twins. "They enjoy coming to the office because they can eat," Ms. Johnson says. "Doritos, Chee-tos. ... We love them all."