Burwick Back as Pepsi’s North American CMO

“Meet the new boss, same as the old boss,” go the lyrics in a rock song by the Who. This is precisely the type of song one could have downloaded via iTunes during Pepsi’s groundbreaking partnership with Apple in 2005, a program overseen by then North American CMO Dave Burwick.

Now, three years later, Burwick is back at the helm as CMO of PepsiCo’s newly formed North America Beverage unit. He will oversee the marketing of most PepsiCo brands excluding Tropicana, its joint ventures with Unilever and Starbucks, as well as Izze and Naked brands. Gatorade CMO Sarah O’Hagan will report to Burwick.

Under a reorganization, PepsiCo Americas Beverages is divided into North America Beverages (NAB) and Latin America Beverages (LAB). Both are overseen by president Massimo d’Amore, who reports to PepsiCo chairman/CEO Indra Nooyi.

“We’re doing this because it’s time for us to think differently about how we approach the business,” said a Pepsi rep. “Today the market is much more fragmented with multiple brands and multiple competitors, and our own beverage portfolio is highly complex [with more than 25 big brands], which demands an integrated portfolio approach to optimize the entire breadth of offerings.”

In other moves, Rich Beck was named president of North America Functional Beverages; Jim Lynch will become svp of the NAB Supply Chain; Hugh Johnston will become president of Pepsi-Cola North America Beverages; Mario Mercurio has been named to the new role of svp-Independent Bottlers. Gatorade president Todd Magazine is leaving the company.

D’Amore said in an internal memo: “I know that any organization change is initially disruptive to our people and our systems. However, I want to assure you that the entire NAB team and I feel very confident that this structure will allow us to reignite profitable growth in our beverage business.”

Burwick had been serving as evp-commercial for PepsiCo International since April. Prior to that, he had functioned as president of Pepsi-Quaker Tropicana Gatorade since November 2005. During his first go-round, Burwick formed the Apple iTunes partnership, the “Pepsi. It’s the Cola” ad campaign and allowed consumers to Play for a Billion Dollars. He has been with Pepsi for nearly two decades.

“This business is still largely about marketing and Burwick is one of the real talents in the industry. I have no doubt that he will enhance PepsiCo’s marketing efforts in North America,” said John Sicher, editor of Beverage Digest, which first reported the move.

Pepsi-Cola North America svp/CMO Cie Nicholson resigned last month, as first reported in Brandweek. She had been with Pepsi since 1997.