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Pepsi CMO Todd Kaplan to Exit

Kaplan is stepping aside to pursue new opportunities after almost two decades at the drinks giant.

After almost two decades with the company, Pepsi CMO Todd Kaplan is leaving.

Kaplan posted on LinkedIn that he is leaving the drinks giant to pursue an opportunity outside the company.

“I have crammed the equivalent of 10 careers into one career since joining PepsiCo as an MBA intern,” said the outgoing CMO, who is leaving PepsiCo’s $11.5bn (£8.9bn) US cola, root beer, and sparkling water brands in the hands of an unnamed successor.

In 2006, Kaplan worked for the drinks giant as an assistant marketing manager. Later, he was appointed marketing director of Mountain Dew and senior director of global innovation, insights, and incubation brands. In this role, Kaplan led a team responsible for generating incremental value across five global business sectors.

pepsi cmo todd kaplan

In 2016, he was appointed vice-president of marketing for the water portfolio, launching the sparkling water range Bubly, and the premium offering Lifewtr, as well as growing Aquafina.

Under Kaplan’s leadership, Pepsi underwent its first rebrand in 14 years, creating a new logo and visual identity to drive brand differentiation.

During an interview with Marketing Week at the time, he said the new visual system brought out the best of the Pepsi brand’s heritage while setting it up for success in an increasingly digital world.

Additionally, Kaplan is credited with returning Pepsi sales to growth after more than 10 years, increasing Pepsi Zero Sugar sales, and expanding Bubly Sparkling Water.

Pepsi’s relationship with its agencies is credited with having a significant impact on brand metrics as a result of his focus on improving them. Through Kaplan’s “collaborativity” approach – collaboration plus creativity – campaigns like “Hidden Logos” resulted in a 29% increase in brand consideration as a result of Kaplan’s “collaborativity” approach.

Kaplan said, “I’m excited to tackle new challenges, explore new possibilities, learn a completely new business, and apply my talents in a new way.”

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