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PepsiCo South Africa appoints new CEO

PepsiCo South Africa has announced the appointment of Riaan Heyl as its new Chief Executive Officer, effective 1 May 2023. This appointment comes as his predecessor, Tertius Carstens, retires after 29 years with the company.

Eugene Willemsen, PepsiCo’s CEO for Africa, Middle East and South Asia (AMESA) commented on these changes: “Through a long illustrious career with Pioneer Foods, Riaan has proven himself to be an outstanding leader. He has been at the forefront of building one PepsiCo in South Africa commercially and culturally.”

Riaan is a chartered Aaccountant by training and joined Pioneer Foods in 2000. His career that included senior leadership roles within finance and general management.

He led the Essential Foods portfolio within Pioneer Foods from 2017 and following PepsiCo’s acquisition of Pioneer Foods, in 2020, took on the role of Vice President Go to Market and Commercial Integration across the South African portfolio. He steps into the CEO position after serving as PepsiCo’s COO in South Africa since January 2023.

Commenting on his appointment, he said, “This is an extraordinary opportunity to lead one of the best food and beverage businesses in South Africa. I’m grateful to build on what has already been achieved and passionate about the company’s trajectory for growth where shared value, sustainability, our people and consumers are at the centre.

“I am excited about the future – notwithstanding the current economic environment and all the challenges we face in South Africa. I truly believe we have iconic brands and the best people to ensure our continued success as we become ‘Faster, Stronger and Better’ at delivering more smiles with every sip and every bite.”

PepsiCo’s global product portfolio includes a wide range of enjoyable foods and beverages, including many iconic brands that generate more than $1-billion each in estimated annual retail sales. In South Africa, the company’s brands include Weet-Bix, Simba, Lay’s, Doritos, Liqui Fruit, SASKO, White Star and Spekko amongst others.       

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