PepsiCo India head Manu Anand quits amid sagging sales

Beverages and snacks major PepsiCo India said late on Thursday that its India region president Manu Anand has quit the company with immediate effect after working with the company for 19 years.

"PepsiCo India region president Manu Anand has decided to join another company and is leaving PepsiCo. His successor will be announced in due course," a PepsiCo India spokesperson said in a statement.

While both Pepsi and Anand maintained that the parting of ways was amicable, reports suggest that it was not quite so. Anand was pushed out because of continuing loss of market share to rival Coca-Cola as well as less-than-expected returns from Rs160 crore spent on the recently concluded and scam-hit Indian Premier League cricket tournament.

The suddenness of Anand's resignation, without a succession plan in place, adds credence to these reports.

Anand said he had decided to seek early retirement. "I have decided to seek early retirement from PepsiCo. Though it's been two-and-a-half years at PepsiCo India as president, I have spent 19 years with the company. I just want some time out."

The sudden exit had nothing to do with performance, Anand claimed. "My decision to move out is personal ... I am evaluating options," he said.

"His successor will be announced in due course," company statement said. "Leaving PepsiCo is Manu's personal decision. It has absolutely nothing to do with performance."

Following the development, PepsiCo India CEO (Beverages) Gautham Mukkavilli and PepsiCo India CEO (Foods) Praveen Someshwar will now directly report to PepsiCo AMEA (Asia, Middle East and Africa) head Saad Abdul Latif..

Anand became chairman of PepsiCo's India Region in January 2011. In this role, he was responsible for the company's beverage and foods businesses in India and neighbouring South Asian countries except Pakistan.

He had joined PepsiCo in 1994 as chief financial officer, Frito-Lay India, and in 1998 became managing director of the Frito-Lay business of PepsiCo India Holdings Ltd, the company said.

More recently, he served as general manager, South East Asia Business Unit of PepsiCo from 2007 to 2010, prior to assuming his current role, it added.