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D Shivkumar quits PepsiCo to join Aditya Birla Group

By Alisha Singhal

Mr D Shivakumar has recently resigned from his role as Chairman and CEO of PepsiCo, India after serving for four years to join the Aditya Birla Group. He will be replaced by Ahmed El Sheikh, Senior Vice President and General Manager for PepsiCo Egypt and Jordan.

Illustrious career

An IIT-IIMC alumnus, D Shivakumar comes with a bundle of rich experiences from working with brands such as Hindustan Unilever (HUL), Phillips and Nokia. From 1989-97, he led the foods business at HUL dealing with brands like Lipton tea, Tree Top fruit juices and Waffles wafers in the snacks segment and then moved on to handle shampoos, feminine hygiene and baby products.

At Phillips, he served for three years as the vice president of the consumer electronics division. His 8 years stint at Nokia, as its head for India, West Asia and Africa was a mixed experience, as the company’s market share grew from 46% to 56% by 2008 but it then dipped to 30% by 2011 and then eventually to 14% further on. He is credited with pushing Nokia’s mass market strategy to rural India, which resides two-thirds of India’s population.

Journey with Pepsico

He joined PepsiCo in 2013 after the exit of Manu Anand which coincided with the company’s huge investment plans of Rs. 33,000 crore in India for doubling production capacity and developing infrastructure. His diverse experience, especially with the foods business proved his ability to bring a fresh perspective to PepsiCo’s business.

PepsiCo has been trying to transform its product portfolio to align the brand with the changing consumer lifestyle. It wanted to change its positioning from a brand providing ‘fun products’ to products that are ‘good for you’. The Chairman played an instrumental role in doing so, with innovating brands like Quaker and Tropicana.

D Shivkumar will now move on to join Aditya Birla Group as the head of strategy and business development.

Featured Image Source: World Economic Forum via Visual Hunt / CC BY-NC-SA

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