09 Oct 2017 22:11 IST

PepsiCo India chairman Shivakumar quits, set to join Aditya Birla group

Shiv led the nutrition biz charge at Pepsi

D Shivakumar, who headed PepsiCo India for almost four years — he joined in December 2013 — has quit and will join the Aditya Birla group early next year. He was instrumental in leading the transformation journey for the company, said Sanjeev Chadha, CEO, AMENA Sector, PepsiCo, in a statement. "He has been a key driver for portfolio transformation and helped develop our nutrition business, launching winning innovations with our Quaker and Tropicana brands. Under his leadership, we also deepened consumer engagement with our flagship brands," said Chadha.

The new CEO, an Egyptian, Ahmed El Sheikh, who will join on November 1, is armed with experience in high-profile PepsiCo markets and has held leadership roles in both the foods and beverage businesses. He moves from Egypt, which saw many geo-political challenges, said Chadha. Shiv will remain with PepsiCo till December end to oversee the transition.

The soft drinks sector has been hit by high taxation and a shift in consumer preferences to healthier drinks. Both the cola majors have been under pressure and Coca-Cola too recently saw the exit of CEO Venkatesh Kini with T Krishnakumar taking over from him.

Shiv, who will join the executive team of the Aditya Birla group, will report to Chairman Kumaramangalam Birla. Shiv, an MBA from IIM Calcutta, started his career with Lipton as brand manager and then spent many years in HUL before moving to Philips. He then headed Nokia for several years and built it to become the country's largest mobile phone brand. After a break, he joined PepsiCo and will now transition to another challenging assignment.

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