PURCHASE, N.Y. — New executive assignments have been made at PepsiCo, Inc., including the creation of a global chief commercial officer position and the appointment of a new chief science officer.

Laxman Narasimhan has been named to the newly created position of global chief commercial officer for PepsiCo. Previously chief executive officer of Latin America, Europe and Sub-Saharan Africa for the company, Mr. Narasimhan will now be tasked with shaping PepsiCo’s long-term growth strategy, leading the development of commercial and marketing capabilities, and overseeing PepsiCo’s global category groups, insights, commercialization, design, global R.&D., e-commerce and strategy.

Mr. Narasimhan has held various senior leadership roles with increasing responsibility during his tenure at PepsiCo. Before being appointed c.e.o. of Latin America, Europe and Sub-Saharan Africa, he was c.e.o. of PepsiCo Latin America, and previously was senior vice-president and chief financial officer of PepsiCo Americas Foods.

“Laxman is the ideal executive to take on this important new role with his vast operating experience, strategic acumen and successful track record unlocking growth opportunities across our businesses and sectors,” said Ramon Laguarta, chairman and chief executive officer of PepsiCo. “He will be instrumental as we sharpen our integrated long-term growth strategy and execute our plans to deliver sustainable, attractive marketplace and financial performance.”

Rene Lammers has been appointed chief science officer of PepsiCo, a role he will assume after Mehmood Khan, M.D., retires from the role this month. In his new position, Mr. Lammers will be responsible for building R.&D. capabilities as the company expands its product portfolio.

Mr. Lammers was most recently senior vice-president of category R.&D. for PepsiCo. Since joining the company in 2010, he has held leadership roles across long-term research, global functions, governance and compliance and the global beverage category. Prior to PepsiCo, he spent 15 years in various R.&D. roles at Unilever P.L.C.

“Rene is a proven leader with a strong track record of success, and his vision and oversight of our R.&D. function will be critically important as we work to build a robust innovation pipeline to support our growth,” Mr. Laguarta said.  “On behalf of our executive team and the entire PepsiCo organization, I would like to thank Mehmood for his tireless work at PepsiCo over the last decade building our global R.&D. technologies and capabilities, shaping our sustainability strategy, and recruiting top talent to our team. I appreciate his willingness to stay on as an adviser to me and the company. We wish him all of the best in his next chapter.”

Along with the new appointments, PepsiCo is continuing to delayer its operating business with a goal of becoming faster and more locally focused, the company said. Following the recent moves that Frito-Lay North America and PepsiCo Beverages North America will report directly into Mr. Laguarta, all leaders of key businesses and geographies will now report to Mr. Laguarta as well, including:

  • Kirk Tanner, c.e.o. of PepsiCo Beverages North America
  • Vivek Sankaran, c.e.o. of Frito-Lay North America
  • Silviu Popovici, c.e.o. of Europe Sub-Saharan Africa
  • Mike Spanos, c.e.o. of Asia, Middle East, and North Africa
  • Laxman Narasimhan, interim c.e.o. of Latin America
  • Jim Andrew, executive vice-president of SodaStream and Beyond Bottle Ventures

These changes will have no impact on PepsiCo's external financial reporting structure, the company said.