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Former Sam’s CEO Cornell lands at PepsiCo

PURCHASE, N.Y. — Less than two months after resigning as president and CEO of Sam’s Club, Brian Cornell has landed at Purchase, N.Y.-based PepsiCo where he will serve as CEO of the company’s North American food division reporting to chairman and CEO Indra Nooyi.

Cornell will be responsible for Frito-Lay North America, Quaker Foods & Snacks North America, PepsiCo Mexico, South America Foods, PepsiCo customer teams and all of PepsiCo’s Power of One activities within the Americas. 

Cornell fills a position vacated by John Compton who was named to a new position as president of PepsiCo as part of a move to become a more fully integrated, global food and beverage company.

“John and Brian are superb executives and will both contribute enormously in their new roles to ensure that we compete effectively and efficiently in the global marketplace,” Nooyi said.

“I could not be happier about my decision to return to PepsiCo and to join Indra's management team,” Cornell said. “The passion PepsiCo's people have for the brands and the company is truly special. I look forward to leveraging my retail operating experience to meet the future needs of PepsiCo’s consumers, customers and shareholders. I’m also pleased to be coming back to Purchase, my family and friends in the northeast and a portfolio of brands that have been an important part of my career.”

Cornell expressed a desire to return to the northeast when his departure from Sam’s Club was announced on Jan. 20. At the time, he indicated that it was time to put his family first after 30 years of asking them to follow him all around the globe.

“My wife and I want to put down roots in the northeast and live in the same ZIP code as our children – not just occasionally seeing them in hotels and restaurants,” Cornell said in the press release announcing his departure from Sam’s.

Cornell has more than 30 years of experience in consumer products marketing and general management. Prior to Sam’s Club, he was president and CEO of Michaels Stores and before that he was EVP and chief marketing officer with Safeway. Earlier in his career, Cornell held general management positions at PepsiCo, including president of Tropicana, president of PepsiCo beverages for Europe and Africa, and president of PepsiCo North America Foodservice. 

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