Pepsi CMO Todd Kaplan to step down 

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

Source: PepsiCo Beverages North America via Golin

Pepsi CMO Todd Kaplan has announced he is departing the company after almost two decades.

In a LinkedIn post, Kaplan explained he is leaving the drinks giant to pursue an external opportunity.

“Since joining PepsiCo as an MBA intern, I’ve been fortunate to be able to cram the equivalent of 10 careers into one,” 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 a yet-to-be announced replacement. 

Kaplan began his career at the drinks giant in 2006 as an assistant marketing manager. Roles followed as marketing director for Mountain Dew and senior director for global innovation, insights and incubation brands. In this innovation role, Kaplan led a team tasked with generating incremental value across five global business sectors. 

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

Kaplan was named Pepsi CMO in 2022, ascending to PepsiCo’s global marketing excellence team. Notably under his leadership, Kaplan led Pepsi’s first rebrand in 14 years, creating a new logo and visual identity to help drive brand distinction.  

Speaking to Marketing Week at the time, he said the new visual system had been designed to bring out the best of the Pepsi brand’s rich heritage, “while taking a giant step forward to set it up for success in an increasingly digital world.” 

Kaplan is also credited with returning Pepsi sales to growth after more than 10 years, accelerating the growth of Pepsi Zero Sugar and expanding the Bubly Sparkling Water portfolio.

His focus on improving Pepsi’s relationships with its agencies, meanwhile, is credited with having a significant impact on brand metrics. Kaplan’s “collaborativity” approach – collaboration plus creativity – resulted in the creation of campaigns such as ‘Hidden Logos’, which led to a 29% increase in brand consideration. 

While Kaplan has not disclosed his next opportunity, he said: “I’m excited to tackle new challenges, explore new possibilities, learn a completely new business and apply my talents in entirely different ways.”