Prior to joining Pepsico India, he was the managing director at Nokia India. He will join the Aditya Birla Group as group head for corporate business development and strategy. He will report to Chairman Kumar Mangalam Birla.

D Shivakumar, who headed PepsiCo for nearly four years – he joined in December 2013 – was instrumental in leading the transformation journey for the company, said Sanjeev Chadha, CEO, AMENA Sector, PepsiCo, in a statement. Ahmed El Sheikh, senior VP & GM for PepsiCo Egypt & Jordan, will replace Shivakumar as CEO of Pepsi-Co India.

57-year-old Shivakumar, popularly known as “Shiv”, chairman and CEO of food and beverage company PepsiCo India Holdings Pvt. Buyer preference for non-sugary healthier beverages and a proliferation of B-brands have led to tepid demand, with growth falling to low single digits for seven quarters now. At PepsiCo, he was largely responsible for solidifying the “Power of One” strategy.

New CEO at the helm, Ahmed, comes with an impressive depth and breadth of experience in high-profile PepsiCo markets, and has held leadership roles in both our foods and beverages businesses.

“He has been a key driver for portfolio transformation, helped develop our nutrition business, launching innovations with our Quaker and Tropicana brands and deepened consumer engagement with our flagship brands”, Chadha said. He was PepsiCo’s first “outsider” CEO since Rajeev Bakshi, who headed the company from 2001 to 2006. Rival Coca-Cola is operating under a team led by K Krishnakumar, who took over as president from Venkatesh Kini in April. It also committed to boost nutritional content in snack brands such as Lays chips and Kurkure. The Rs 14,000-crore soft drinks industry is now undergoing a substantial consolidation, with many plants shutting down across the country and companies rushing to launch “healthier’ and lowcalorie beverages”.