Nutrition strategy fails at Pepsi

CEO Indra Nooyi and her nutritionists may be on the way out.

The New York Times reports:

Indra K. Nooyi’s vision of PepsiCo as a company that sells nutritional products — not just sodas and salty chips — has been hailed as a sound long-term strategy by management consultants and nutritionists almost since her arrival at the company nearly six years ago.

But Wall Street was never that impressed.

“I’ve always seen that more as P.R. than reality,” said Donald Yacktman, a longtime investor in PepsiCo through the Yacktman Funds. “To focus on that would be sort of like the tail wagging the dog. The most important piece of the company is Frito-Lay, then Pepsi.”

On Monday, Ms. Nooyi, the chief executive, announced several management changes clearly intended to reassure investors, who have become impatient over PepsiCo’s anemic stock price and the signature brand’s loss of market share in the United States. The moves also aimed to reassure them that the company was not drifting too far from the products that made it famous — and a good investment — no matter what it plans for health and nutrition. The shifts also address concerns in the financial world that PepsiCo has no succession plan in place…

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