PepsiCo Poaches Its New SVP of Global Insights From Omnicom’s Interbrand

Stephan Gans goes client side to lead analytics

Gans started his marketing career at Unilever. Interbrand
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Just over a month after weathering the storm that was the Kendall Jenner campaign, PepsiCo has turned to the agency world to recruit its newest analytical mastermind. A spokesperson for the beverage giant confirmed today that it has hired Stephan Gans to serve as svp of global insights, a newly created role.

“We are coalescing all of our leaders under one role, Stephan’s, to be more efficient and streamlined in our approach,” the representative wrote.

He will manage other leaders on the data team, such as svp of global insights and analytics Pamela Forbus, who will report to Gans while continuing to “lead an insights center of excellence that she built within PepsiCo.” That group currently empowers more than 500 employees to scale best practices, improve talent development efforts and, most importantly, increase market share around the world.

Like Forbus, who formerly worked in accounts at TBWA\Chiat\Day and Doner, Gans brings agency experience to his new role. He most recently served as North American chief strategy officer and global practice lead at Interbrand, the Omnicom consultancy specializing in everything from analytics and strategy to brand naming, packaging and logo design. But he began his career on the client side, spending nearly 25 years in various marketing and financial roles at packaged goods giant Unilever in both New York and his native Netherlands. He was also co-owner and CEO of EffectiveBrands, a consultancy WPP acquired in 2014.

Gans’s departure is the latest in a series of changes at the Interbrand network this year. In a January memo, global CEO Jez Frampton called 2016 “a difficult year” due to some unspecified business losses while announcing that his company had hired former DDB North America CEO Mark O’Brien to serve as group chief financial and operations officer. Interbrand also promoted former head of operations and chief financial officer Kelly Gall to the new role of chief of commercial operations in North America. Later that month, North American CEO Josh Feldmeth stepped down after more than 15 years with the Omnicom organization; Interbrand has not yet named his successor.

“While we will miss Stef, we look forward to working with him in the future in his new role at PepsiCo,” said an Interbrand spokesperson.

PepsiCo’s earnings for the first quarter of 2017 surpassed Wall Street’s expectations despite the fact that American soda sales dropped for the 12th year in a row. In the interest of diversifying its offering to satisfy modern tastes, the company continues to invest more heavily in alternatives like bottled water and the carbonated beverage line Izze.

@PatrickCoffee Patrick Coffee is a senior editor for Adweek.