Improved results lift PepsiCo chief’s pay

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Candice Choi New York

PepsiCo chief executive Indra Nooyi got a pay package worth $13.2 million (R144m) last year, representing a 5 percent increase from the previous year.

The pay bump for the Indian-born Nooyi was the result of a higher performance-based bonus, reflecting the company’s improved financial results after coming out of a “transitional year” in which it slashed costs and stepped up investments in flagship brands.

In addition to its namesake soda, PepsiCo makes Gatorade, Mountain Dew, Quaker oats and Frito-Lay snacks such as Doritos and Cheetos.

PepsiCo had been under pressure to improve its results when Nooyi announced a “reset” in 2012 to strengthen its brands. The company made a point of investing more heavily in marketing for its Pepsi soda, which had lost market share to Coca-Cola over the years.

Even as it worked to deliver stronger results last year, however, the company was working to beat back calls from Trian Fund Management’s Nelson Peltz to spin off its underperforming beverage unit.

The activist investor wanted PepsiCo to then merge with Oreo cookie maker Mondelez to create a global snack food giant.

Peltz has since backed down from the calls for a marriage between the two companies, but continues to press his case for PepsiCo to split up its snacks and drinks businesses.

PepsiCo executives have stressed their intention of moving forward as a combined company, saying the two units complement each other.

Its results last year were better, with net income and earnings a share increasing.

Executives say that having a diversity of products helps PepsiCo weather a variety of challenges. It also notes it is positioned to benefit from the strength of its non-carbonated drinks like Gatorade as people continue to move away from soda. – Sapa-AP


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