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PepsiCo CFO Hugh Johnston leaving for Disney

Dive Brief:

  • PepsiCo vice chairman and chief financial officer Hugh Johnston is leaving the company at the end of the month to become CFO at The Walt Disney Company. Johnston leaves PepsiCo after 34 years at the snacking and beverage giant.
  • Company veteran James (Jamie) Caulfield will take over the top financial post at the New York-based CPG giant. 
  • Johnson has been a prominent and valued figure at PepsiCo, often conducting media interviews and speaking to developments at the company and across the food and beverage industry.

Dive Insight:

Much like Johnson, who has worked his way up at PepsiCo, the company is replacing him with an insider who knows the inner workings of the company as well as anyone. Caulfield, who is currently the senior vice president and CFO for PepsiCo Foods North America, has held several roles in finance within the company during his 30 years at the business. In his current role, PepsiCo said he has “been instrumental in the stewardship of the growth and transformation of the business.”

It remains to be seen whether PepsiCo will have Caulfield be a face of the company beyond his role as CFO, but at the very least his knowledge of the firm and its strategy during his more than three decades gives the Doritos and Aquafina maker an experienced name it can depend on. For a business with a $230 billion market capitalization and a prominent player in the food and beverage category, PepsiCo needs someone who can quickly slide into the role, something Caulfield should be able to do.

“We are fortunate to have someone of Jamie’s caliber and experience already within PepsiCo today and ready to take on the role,”  Ramon Laguarta, PepsiCo’s CEO, said in a statement. “His experience within the company is as deep as it is broad and he has touched all aspects of our business in the last 30 years. The continuity which Jamie will bring to the high-performing Finance function, coupled with his relentless attention to detail and commitment to PepsiCo, is evidence that we have the right person for the job.”

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