Hires & Promotions: Pepsi, Blink Digital, Cars24, Snap

Quick look at new hirings, promotions and people movements this week

PepsiCo appoints Ram Krishnan to newly created role of CEO, International Beverages

PepsiCo has made two senior leadership appointments as the company continues its efforts to be even Faster, Stronger and Better. Jane Wakely will join the company as Executive Vice President, Chief Consumer and Marketing Officer and Chief Growth Officer, International Foods.

The company also appointed Ram Krishnan, currently serving as Chief Commercial Officer, to the newly created role of CEO, International Beverages and Chief Commercial Officer. Both executives will report to PepsiCo Chairman and CEO, Ramon Laguarta.

Wakely brings to the company an intense focus on consumers, insights and building best-in-class brand and category growth strategies. As Chief Consumer and Marketing Officer, she will focus on driving accelerated growth by elevating PepsiCo's consumer-centricity, innovation, brand, and marketing capabilities.  As Chief Growth Officer, International Foods, Wakely will be responsible for accelerating the Positive Choices pillar of pep+ (PepsiCo Positive), which includes evolving the company's portfolio into new spaces that are better for the planet and people by developing products with more diverse ingredients, such as plant-based proteins, nuts and seeds, and whole grains.

"Jane is a creative and commercially-oriented marketer who is passionate about purpose and innovation as critical growth levers," said PepsiCo Chairman and CEO, Ramon Laguarta. "She has a proven track record of success, and I am confident that with her leadership, we will take our consumer-centricity, innovation, brand, and marketing strategies and capabilities, and International Foods growth to a new level."

Wakely joins PepsiCo with 28 years of marketing experience at Procter & Gamble and at Mars, where since 2019 she served as Lead CMO and CMO of Pet Nutrition, one of the largest divisions of Mars' $40 billion portfolio. She was previously Global CMO of their Chocolate Division. She has operated globally and in highly complex product categories, brands, and businesses across a variety of growth, turnaround, and transformation challenges.

"PepsiCo is a marketing powerhouse known for its commitment to innovation and world-class, consumer-focused brands," said Wakely. "I look forward to working with my future colleagues to delight consumers with new propositions and purpose-driven brands that bring pep+ to life."

Krishnan, a 15-year PepsiCo veteran, will focus on driving accelerated growth for the International Beverages business, including the company's international franchise bottlers, with an end-to-end focus on brand-building, innovation, supply chain, digitalization, talent, and sustainability. Krishnan will also be charged with leading faster growth for the SodaStream and Beyond the Bottle businesses, as well as the Pepsi Lipton partnership, the company's joint venture with Unilever. This move, effective January 1, 2022, will bring PepsiCo's critical beverage expertise and commercial capabilities into one group, with an eye toward optimizing the end-to-end operating model, capital allocations and building new capabilities. Krishnan will continue to oversee the company's e-Commerce business and global commercial capabilities.

"Ram has been an incredibly effective leader for our commercial agenda," said Laguarta. "With this newly created role, he will bring focus and a proven formula for success to drive faster growth for our International Beverages business."

Blink Digital Ropes in Dia Kirpalani and Suraj Karvi to head Strategy and Media

Blink Digital has appointed two Vice Presidents, Dia Kirpalani and Suraj Karvi, both practising advertising professionals of over 15 years.

Dia brings experience across Finance, Market Research and Advertising, having previously been associated with WPP, Leo Burnett, Rediffusion and more. Dia has worked across myriad sectors including FMCG, Retail, E-commerce, Fashion, Skincare, Personal Health, Beauty, Real Estate, Gaming, and Financial Services, including mutual funds, banking and insurance, across brands like Shoppers Stop, HSBC Bank, Sugarfree and more. At Blink, Dia will oversee the creative strategy vertical for Blink Digital's current and new clients.

Suraj was until recently heading the media business for Marico & Atomberg technologies at Madison Media. Prior to Madison Suraj worked with GroupM & Starcom and has experience across sectors like FMCG, OTT, Jewellery, Watches, Pharma, Lifestyle Retail etc. He has also worked in the area of Business Strategy, Planning & Sales strategy during his stint with Viacom18 & NDTVMedia. At Blink Digital, Suraj will be leading the media vertical & be responsible for the current media businesses as well as acquiring new business. Commenting on the appointments Rikki Aggarwal, Co-Founder and Chief Business Officer at Blink Digital, said “As we chase bigger ambitions, it is key to ensure the growth of the company along with the best set of talents inhouse to keep pace with the evolving industry. Their appointment is another validation of our commitment and leadership in the industry. We are thrilled to have them on board!”

On Joining Dia Kirpalani, VP, Head Strategy commented, “I'm absolutely delighted to be joining the brilliant team at Blink Digital. My clear mandate is to bridge the gap between mainline and digital thinking that continues to exist in our industry and to ensure our clients get the benefit of a truly silo-less approach to their business problems. Under Dooj and Rikki's setup, we have a strategy team that is underpinned by mainline thinking and yet strongly supplemented with digital expertise. Blink has been built on balancing the cutting edge with the effective and I can't be more excited to jump in and get my hands dirty.”

“Digital has been the key area of growth within the Media Marketing World and will continue to be so; creating further excitement & opportunities for brands & industry as a whole. I am delighted to join Blink and be part of its growth story. Blink being an Independent Digital Agency house bagging much award-winning work across client categories, my aim will be to add many more to the list. I look forward to working with the team that’s

geared up for both business growth & delivering award-winning work hand in hand.” added Suraj Karvi, VP, Head of Media.

Cars24 ropes in Sudhir Shukla as CMO India

Former Star Sports Marketing Head Sudhir Shukla has joined Cars24 as Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) India. In his new role, Shukla will be responsible for marketing and growth for the Indian business. 

“As I enter the last week of my innings at Star TV Network, I can only be grateful for the journey I have had. From RE-launching Star Bharat to Re-imagining Vivo IPL spectatorship & business, breaking viewership world records with ICC events across Men’s and Women’s Cricket & doing first of its kind moment marketing campaigns such as “Babysitting”; to nurturing and strengthening India’s love with Kabaddi and Football, there has never been a dull moment at work,” Shukla said in a LinkedIn post.

“My heartfelt thanks to colleagues and mentors at Star TV Network as well as collaborators across agencies for infusing magic amidst all the chaos. Team Star Sports Ad Solutions: always rooting for you to scale newer highs and keep hitting it out of the park, just like every time,” the post reads.

He had joined Star Sports as VP & Head- Marketing & Brand Strategy in November 2016. Before joining Star, Shukla worked with Mondelez International as head-modern trade, CSD and away from (NCD) channel. He was associated with Mondelez for over 10 years.

He is an alumnus of XLRI, Jamshedpur and Vivekanand Education Society's Institute of Technology.

Snap hires Anne Laurenson as the first MD of Global Carrier Partnerships

Snap has hired Anne Laurenson as the first Managing Director of Global Carrier Partnerships. Laurenson joins from Google and - in a company first - will be the first Snap executive to lead a Global team, including the Americas, from outside the US. Anne will be based in Paris, France.

Reporting to Nana Murugesan, Managing Director, International Markets & Mobile Partnerships, Ms Laurenson will be responsible for Snap's carrier partnerships strategy across the US and Latin America; Europe, Middle East, and Africa (EMEA); and the Asia-Pacific regions.

Snap’s carrier partnerships strategy is to build and strengthen relationships with telecom carriers to create mutual business value and enable people all over the world to use Snapchat and benefit from the potential of Augmented Reality.

This is achieved through a range of initiatives, including service level collaboration to improve Snapchat accessibility, accelerating digital skills and creativity through creator-focused and other joint community investments, and leveraging 5G capabilities to change the way people experience places and events.
Prior to joining Snap, Ms Laurenson spent 14 years at Google, ten of those driving Android growth. She most recently served as the Managing Director for Android Partnerships for EMEA. In this role, she was responsible for the overall strategy and execution of growing the adoption of Android ecosystem and Google services through partnerships with carriers, smartphone manufacturers and retailers in the region. Android is an Operating System developed by Google with 3 billion devices in active use.
Ms Laurenson has over 20 years of experience in both the tech and telecom industries and holds an Engineer’s Degree from Ecole Centrale of Lille and an MBA from HEC.

Ms Laurenson said: “I am very excited to join Snap and support its mission of empowering people to express themselves and discover the world combining what they see in the real world with a digital experience through AR. I am thrilled to have the opportunity to contribute to Snap’s growth through creative partnerships with carriers globally, building on the great successes the team has already achieved in the US and internationally.”

Nana Murugesan said: “We are delighted to welcome Anne at such an exciting time for our business. She brings unique expertise and leadership experience to accelerate our growth with carrier partners. She will also support longer-term initiatives such as Spectacles and Snap's Paris AR Studio, the first AR Center of Excellence in the world. We are particularly excited that Anne will be a global leader based outside the US. This is a significant step in our commitment to building a truly global team.”

After CEO, Myntra's CFO and CMO step down

Flipkart-owned fashion portal Myntra has reportedly seen two high-level exits. Chief financial officer Ramesh Bafna and chief marketing officer Harish Narayanan have resigned, according to media reports.

Flipkart Group CFO Sriram Venkatraman will act as its interim CFO for the next few months said media reports citing an internal mail written by outgoing chief executive Amar Nagaram to employees.

“Harish and Ramesh have been passionately invested in Myntra’s growth and evolution over the years. Along with being inspiring leaders, we have all known them as mentors, friends, and guides. They will continue in their roles at Myntra till January 2022, to help ensure a smooth transition,” reports quoted Nagaram as saying in the email.

“Along with being inspiring leaders, we have all known them as mentors, friends, and guides. They will continue in their roles at Myntra till January 2022, to help ensure a smooth transition.”

“As they move on to their next career stints, I thank them for leaving behind a strong legacy, and for many memorable moments shared together. Apart from this, there will be no changes in the Marketing and Finance organization structures. We will share details of their successors in due course,” Nagaram reportedly added.

Mantra has seen a number of movements in the recent past. Nagaram himself put in his papers last month, three years after he was elevated to the CEO position.

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