Pepsi-Cola Names CMO

NEW YORK Pepsi-Cola North America today named Cie Nicholson CMO after promoting Dave Burwick to president of Pepsi-QTG (Quaker Tropicana Gatorade) of Canada.

Burwick is expected to spend two years at his new position gaining valuable P&L experience as he is groomed for a bigger post, per a source.

Nicholson, meanwhile, has risen through the ranks rapidly since joining the company in 1997 as director of innovation. In 2002, she spearheaded the launch of Mountain Dew Code Red.

The client spent $370 million on ads last year, and $320 million through the first eight months of 2005, per Nielsen Monitor-Plus. Creative is handled by BBDO, DDB and TBWA\Chiat\Day; media chores are with OMD. All of those shops are units of Omnicom Group.

Code Red had a domino effect on the industry, as the flavored-line extension launches have now become the norm among the cola giants. Its success also helped change the way Pepsi and Coke approach grassroots marketing.

As vp of carbonated soft drink flavors, Nicholson launched Sierra Mist, which is now a top 10 soda brand. Since 2004, she has helped build the company’s non-carbonated portfolio as vp of that category. Before coming to Pepsi, Nicholson worked at R.J. Reynolds on projects such as the relaunch of Winston cigarettes.

Pepsi also named Meena Mansharamani to the newly created post of svp of innovation and insights. She will work on beefing up the company’s product and packaging mix. She was previously vp of strategic insights.

Both Nicholson and Mansharamani will report directly to Pepsi-Cola North America president and CEO Dawn Hudson.