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PepsiCo names EVP government affairs

PURCHASE, N.Y. -- PepsiCo has announced the appointment of Maura Abeln Smith to the position of EVP government affairs, general counsel and corporate secretary, effective May 5.  Smith will succeed Larry Thompson, who is retiring from the company to assume a teaching position at the University of Georgia Law School.

Smith, who will report to PepsiCo Chairman and CEO Indra Nooyi, will be responsible for the company's worldwide legal function and government affairs organization.

"We're delighted to welcome Maura to the PepsiCo leadership team," Nooyi said.  "In addition to her vast understanding of complex legal and regulatory issues, Maura also brings a unique combination of sharp business intellect, strong leadership skills and uncompromising ethical standards to the role.  She has built a record of distinction throughout her career and PepsiCo will benefit from her counsel."

Smith has nearly 30 years of experience as a corporate attorney.  Most recently, she served for eight years as SVP, general counsel, corporate secretary and global government relations of International Paper, the world's largest global paper and forest products company.  

Prior to joining International Paper, Smith served as SVP, general counsel and secretary at Owens Corning, a global building materials business, for five years.  She oversaw the company's reorganization as chief restructuring officer and served as a member of the board of directors.  She also spent eight years at General Electric, where she was VP and general counsel at the GE Plastics Division.  Earlier in her career, she was a partner at the law firm Baker & McKenzie.