SMITH BUSINESS Magazine
Volume 13 No. 1 SPRING 2012

Corporate Partners Program

Al CareyFor Albert “Al” Carey ’74, CEO of PepsiCo Americas Beverages, speaking as part of the CEO@Smith Series was more than an opportunity to talk about being the CEO of a major company; it was an opportunity to speak with students at his alma mater and to visit the campus of which he has fond memories.

On Nov. 15, 2011, Carey joined the Robert H. Smith School of Business for the last presentation in the CEO@Smith Speaker Series for the fall semester. Carey assumed his role as the CEO of PepsiCo Americas Beverages, a unit of PepsiCo, in September 2011 and is responsible for overseeing all aspects of PepsiCo’s beverage business across North, South and Central America. Prior to this role, he was president and CEO of Frito-Lay North America.

He focused his presentation mostly on his time spent at Frito-Lay, discussing marketing for a company whose products are regarded as junk food. For several years, the company focused its marketing on the healthy changes it was making to its products. They soon learned that they needed to continue making their products healthier, but not market the changes to the consumer.

“Our products have gotten a lot healthier, but we don’t talk about it on the front of the bag because ‘low fat’ and ‘low sodium’ are both phrases associated with poor taste,” Carey explained, giving props to McDonalds and Subway for serving healthy options alongside their not-so-healthy menu counterparts. “They are selling as many Big Macs as before and they’re still offering salads for those people who want the healthier alternative.”

“My experiences at this university definitely affected my career,” said Carey. “This school prepared me as a leader. I had the opportunity to get a great education. My advice for you is to take on many activities in addition to your studies – It was good training for me to learn to balance multiple things at once and it has definitely helped me in my career to be able to multitask well.” – JS

Here’s what some other CEOs had to say during their CEO@Smith presentations:

You are going to open up your career by your performance. The best thing you can do for your career is to get results. You don’t get recognized every day because you do your job. You get recognized for being extraordinary. -- Alan Wilson, CEO, McCormick Co.
People have the “passion quotient” when they are bringing intellectual curiosity and they are willing to put in time and effort to invest in themselves. They actually go out and lead and make a difference and have an impact, as opposed to just getting stuff done. I will tell you that when we are looking at talented people, that is probably the most important thing we are looking for. -- Bob Moritz, CEO, PricewaterhouseCoopers
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