PepsiCo names former Kraft Heinz marketing boss as Europe CMO

Former Kraft Heinz CMO Paula Marconi has joined PepsiCo to help “strengthen” its market presence across Europe at a “pivotal time” of driving change and growth.

Source: PepsiCo Beverages North America via Golin

PepsiCo has named former Kraft Heinz Continental Europe CMO Paula Marconi as its top marketer for Europe to help “strengthen” its market presence across the region.

She joins as Europe CMO, replacing Ian Ellington, who has held the position for the past five years and will transition to a separate part of the business within the global marketing team. Her appointment is effective immediately.

Marconi joins the Europe leadership team at a “pivotal time” of driving change and growth, the business says. She will play a “critical part” in delivering PepsiCo Europe’s business strategy through sustainable profitable category growth, innovation and brand building.

Prior to joining the drinks giant, Marconi spent more than two years at Kraft Heinz. Before that, she spent seven years at Anheuser-Busch InBev as vice-president of marketing and 12 years at Unilever working under the personal care division.

“PepsiCo as a global brand is constantly transforming and reimagining its products and processes to stay at the forefront of innovation,” Marconi says. “I’m excited to be joining such an ambitious and vibrant company and can’t wait to help bring our vision to life for customers and consumers across Europe.”

Marconi will report into Europe CEO Silviu Popovici and executive vice-president, chief consumer and marketing officer and chief growth officer of International Foods, Jane Wakely.

Popovici credits Marconi’s “extensive experience” and “innovative approach”, which he says will be “invaluable” as it looks to strengthen its market presence across Europe.

In a LinkedIn post, Popvici said Marconi will be “leading the power” of its brands and accelerating the #PepsiCoPositive transformation. He also thanked Ellington for his “outstanding contribution” to the business.

Back in July 2023, PepsiCo credited marketing for strengthening its brands and improving perceived value.

“In some respects it’s what we have been investing for over the past few years. Our brands are stronger, the perceived value of our products is better than it was and obviously we have been able to raise prices and consumers stay within our brands,” said PepsiCo CEO Ramon Laguarta.

Marconi’s departure from Heinz follows that of Irina Rodina, another former Kraft Heinz executive who left the company in April to join spirit business Bacardi, taking on a global role as senior vice president for marketing strategy and operations.

Rodina spent just under two years at Kraft Heinz, joining the business in 2022.