Simon Lowden, President of Global Foods at PepsiCo, loves his new role in building the PepsiCo foods portfolio from indulgence through to nutritional. After 22 years and a number of roles at PepsiCo, including his most recent role as CMO, Simon’s move to President is, by design, to keep him from getting too comfortable with what he knows and continuously pushing him into new territory. Now, his mission is to develop the longer-term strategic intent for the business, drive market share growth and evolve capabilities for the future.
A key part of evolving capabilities within PepsiCo is to also understand and create a fabric where partners can add incremental value to the internal capabilities and setting everyone up from the start with ownership and accountability to achieve agility.
“We have to get comfortable with a high level of discomfort, making sure we surround ourselves with people who are very different to ourselves.”
PepsiCo has long been developing a full suite of internal creative capabilities to marry with analytics so they can go to market more quickly. Part of the objective for building in-house capabilities is to have full transparency in the development process and ability to pivot when needed. That isn’t to say that they don’t need and value agencies as part of the process, but Simon underscores the importance of trust, agility and commitment for those relationships to flourish.
“The trick we have to manage with our external partners is to forget the mandate of, ‘we'll show you when we're finished’ and embrace the concept of progress over perfection and make sure that we're rolling our sleeves up and getting our fingernails dirty on a daily, weekly basis as opposed to waiting for a polished finished article.”
Another critical initiative that Simon is focused on is sustainability. In his last trip to Davos for WEF (World Economic Forum), Simon had three objectives. Find out what they were along with his powerful career tips by tuning in to hear from Simon himself!