PepsiCo has announced the creation of a new organisation dedicated to accelerating efforts both inside and outside of the company to help address inequalities for historically excluded people and underserved businesses and communities.
The new organisation is the next step in the group's Racial Equality Journey (REJ), a pillar of the company's pep+ (PepsiCo Positive) transformation of how it creates growth and shared value.
PepsiCo REJ Commitments
The company's REJ commitments were originally announced in 2020 and centred around investing more than $570 million (€503 billion) over five years to increase Black and Hispanic representation, leverage the company's scale and influence across suppliers and strategic partners, and help address systemic barriers and create economic opportunities for Black and Hispanic Americans.
The new Multicultural Business and Equity Development Organisation will operate across PepsiCo's North America beverage and convenient foods businesses and integrate work streams aimed at addressing a variety of business and people priorities into a one-team approach that the group hopes will help drive sustained change and scale faster across PepsiCo's North America businesses.
Derek Lewis Appointed
PepsiCo has appointed Derek Lewis as its first-ever president of Multicultural Business and Equity Development to lead this initiative.
Employed by PepsiCo for 34 years, Lewis most recently served as president of PepsiCo Beverages North America's South Division and has played a leadership role in the company's broader diversity and community engagement agenda.
In his new role, he will create and lead a new organisation tasked with ensuring end-to-end business inequalities are addressed to maximise overall results and impact.
"To take the next step in its Racial Equality Journey, PepsiCo is calling on one of its top executives to lead an organisation embedded in the company's two largest businesses with a focus on providing new educational opportunities, building up small businesses and creating rewarding job opportunities in an effort to support underserved businesses and communities," said Kirk Tanner, CEO, PepsiCo Beverages North America.
"This is a significant move, which we believe will increase engagement and impact internally with employees and externally with consumers and enable greater progress for the future."