FMCG giant PepsiCo South Africa announces appointment of new CEO

By our News Team | 2023

Riaan Heyl takes over the top job following the retirement of long-serving PepsiCo executive, Tertius Carstens.

PepsiCo South Africa, the local arm of the global food and beverage giant, has announced the appointment of Riaan Heyl as its new Chief Executive Officer. 

The appointment was effective from 1 May 2023 and he replaces Tertius Carstens, who retires after 29 years with the company.

In South Africa, the PepsiCo brand portfolio includes such well-known names as Pepsi, Weet-Bix, Simba, Lay’s, Doritos, Liqui Fruit, Sasko, White Star and Spekko.

Executive Appointments

Riaan Heyl is the new Chief Executive Officer of PepsiCo SA. Photo credit: PepsiCo

“Through a well-established network of importing distributors, PepsiCo has over a number of years established a footprint across SSA for many of our iconic South African brands – such as Ceres, Simba and Bokomo – as well as global brands such as Quaker and Lays, sourced from other markets,” the company says on its website.

This network includes Kenyan-based Weetabix East Africa, Bokomo Namibia and Bokomo Botswana.

Heyl is a chartered accountant by training and joined Pioneer Foods in 2000. His career includes senior leadership roles within finance and general management. He led the Essential Foods portfolio within Pioneer Foods from 2017 and, following PepsiCo’s acquisition of Pioneer Foods in 2020, took on the role of Vice President for Go to Market and Commercial Integration across the South African portfolio.

Previously served as Chief Operating Officer

Heyl steps into the CEO position after serving as PepsiCo SA’s Chief Operating Officer since January 2023.

Eugene Willemsen, PepsiCo’s CEO for Africa, Middle East and South Asia (AMESA) comments on these changes: “Through a long illustrious career with Pioneer Foods, Riaan has proven himself to be an outstanding leader. He has been at the forefront of building one PepsiCo in South Africa commercially and culturally.”

Adds Heyl: “This is an extraordinary opportunity to lead one of the best food and beverage businesses in South Africa. I’m grateful to build on what has already been achieved and passionate about the company’s trajectory for growth where shared value, sustainability, our people and consumers are at the centre.”

“I am excited about the future – notwithstanding the current economic environment and all the challenges we face in South Africa. I truly believe we have iconic brands and the best people to ensure our continued success.”