Discussion:
PepsiCo Boss Donald Kendall, Who Started the Cola Wars, Has Died
Add Reply
Big Mongo
2020-09-21 03:54:22 UTC
Reply
Permalink
https://www.wsj.com/articles/pepsico-boss-donald-kendall-who-started-the-cola-wars-has-died-11600638498

PepsiCo Boss Donald Kendall, Who Started the Cola Wars, Has Died


As CEO, Kendall launched the ‘Pepsi Challenge’ and beat Coca-Cola into the Soviet Union

By Mike Esterl and Jennifer Maloney
Updated Sept. 20, 2020 7:08 pm ET
PRINT
TEXT
3
Donald M. Kendall, who built PepsiCo Inc. into a snack-and-beverage juggernaut and introduced the Soviet Union to American cola at the height of the Cold War, died Saturday. He was 99 years old.

The executive, who grew up milking cows and finished just three semesters of college, became chief executive of Pepsi-Cola Co. in 1963 at age 42 and presided over the company until his retirement in 1986. During that time, sales grew nearly 40-fold through acquisitions and the “Pepsi Challenge”—its high-profile marketing assault on the dominance of rival Coca-Cola Co.

“He was relentless about growing our business, a fearless leader, and the ultimate salesman,” said PepsiCo CEO and Chairman Ramon Laguarta. “In many ways, he was the man who made PepsiCo PepsiCo.”

Shortly after Mr. Kendall became CEO, the company launched its “Pepsi Generation’’ campaign that cast Pepsi as the hip, upstart cola for young people and Coke as staid and old-fashioned. PepsiCo put its flagship brand name on Diet Pepsi, which catapulted diet soda into the big time, as a more cautious Coke stuck with its diet offering, Tab. And under Mr. Kendall, the company conducted its “Pepsi Challenge” taste tests pitting Pepsi directly against Coke.

Mr. Kendall famously said both companies benefited from the “cola wars,’’ a rivalry that continues to this day. “They brought out the best in us,” he said. “If there wasn’t a Coca-Cola, we would have had to invent one, and they would have had to invent Pepsi.”

In 1965, Mr. Kendall agreed to another bold move—merging New York-based Pepsi-Cola Co. with Dallas-based potato-chip giant Frito-Lay Co.

Born on a farm in Sequim, Wash., a young Mr. Kendall accepted an athletic scholarship to Western Kentucky State College and worked part time as a shoe salesman. In 1941, he enlisted as a Navy pilot during World War II, flying combat missions in the Pacific, according to a company biography.

He joined Pepsi-Cola in 1947, first working in a bottling plant in New Rochelle, N.Y., and then on a delivery truck, before becoming a fountain-syrup salesman. Five years later, at 31, he was promoted to vice president of national sales. Mr. Kendall headed the international division from 1957 to 1963, nearly doubling the number of countries that sold Pepsi, according to the company.

In 1959, Mr. Kendall organized a booth at the American National Exhibition in Moscow. With the help of Vice President Richard Nixon, he offered Pepsi to Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev, who agreed to several refills and declared it “refreshing.’’ Photos of the exchange were published around the world.

Pepsi didn’t open its first plant in the Soviet Union until 1974, and only after agreeing to a complex barter arrangement involving Stolichnaya vodka. Still, that was several years earlier than Coke, which had expanded into more than 100 other countries. Mr. Kendall boasted that Pepsi was the first American consumer product to be sold in the Soviet Union.

Mr. Kendall came to know several heads of state, none more than Mr. Nixon, who was a legal adviser in the 1960s and played piano at Mr. Kendall’s wedding in 1965. In 1968, after being elected president, Mr. Nixon asked Mr. Kendall to get some advice from departing President Lyndon B. Johnson. Mr. Johnson relayed that the audio-taping system he had installed was a helpful organizing tool—advice Mr. Nixon later regretted when recordings helped drive him from office during the Watergate scandal, according to several historical accounts.

Mr. Kendall also was close friends with the ballet dancer Mikhail Baryshnikov and the godfather of one of his children. As chairman of the American Ballet Theatre Foundation, he recruited Mr. Baryshnikov to become artistic director in 1980, according to multiple accounts.

He was on less-friendly terms with the actress Joan Crawford, who had married Pepsi-Cola CEO and Chairman Alfred Steele and joined the company’s board after Mr. Steele died in 1959. Ms. Crawford and Mr. Kendall clashed frequently, with Ms. Crawford nicknaming him Fang, according to several published accounts.

In 1982, as Mr. Kendall was approaching retirement, PepsiCo was hit by a major scandal after executives falsely inflated profits for five years at the company’s Mexican and Philippine bottling businesses. According to a company biography, Mr. Kendall’s pay was cut 40% and he canceled bonuses and borrowed $1 million to buy PepsiCo stock.

By late 1983, though, Mr. Kendall gave the green light for Pepsi to sponsor a Jacksons reunion concert tour with Michael Jackson for a $5 million price tag—regarded as an astronomical figure at the time.

Mr. Kendall retired as CEO in 1986, remaining on PepsiCo’s board until 1991. He kept an office at the company’s headquarters in Purchase N.Y., just a few miles from his home in Greenwich, Conn., and was a frequent visitor. He also traveled widely as a PepsiCo ambassador—including to Russia, where he received an Order of Friendship medal from President Vladimir Putin in 2004.

Despite a two-decade grip on the company, Mr. Kendall carefully avoided involvement in his successors’ decisions but always made himself available for counsel, Michael White, PepsiCo’s former international chief, wrote in a lengthy tribute in 2009.

Mr. Kendall died of natural causes at home, his family said. Mr. Kendall is survived by his wife, Sigrid Kendall, known to friends as Bim, and four children, Edward, Donna, Donald Jr. and Kent.
Adam H. Kerman
2020-09-21 04:09:25 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Big Mongo
https://www.wsj.com/articles/pepsico-boss-donald-kendall-who-started-the-cola-wars-has-died-11600638498
PepsiCo Boss Donald Kendall, Who Started the Cola Wars, Has Died
As CEO, Kendall launched the ‘Pepsi Challenge’ and beat Coca-Cola
into the Soviet Union
By Mike Esterl and Jennifer Maloney
Updated Sept. 20, 2020 7:08 pm ET
Donald M. Kendall, who built PepsiCo Inc. into a snack-and-beverage
juggernaut and introduced the Soviet Union to American cola at the
height of the Cold War, died Saturday. He was 99 years old. . . .
This man clearly thrived on the consumption of sweetened beverages.
Louis Epstein
2020-09-21 16:13:24 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Big Mongo
https://www.wsj.com/articles/pepsico-boss-donald-kendall-who-started-the-cola-wars-has-died-11600638498
PepsiCo Boss Donald Kendall, Who Started the Cola Wars, Has Died
As CEO, Kendall launched the ?Pepsi Challenge? and beat Coca-Cola into the Soviet Union
By Mike Esterl and Jennifer Maloney
Updated Sept. 20, 2020 7:08 pm ET
PRINT
TEXT
3
Donald M. Kendall, who built PepsiCo Inc. into a snack-and-beverage juggernaut and introduced the Soviet Union to American cola at the height of the Cold War, died Saturday. He was 99 years old.
The executive, who grew up milking cows and finished just three semesters of college, became chief executive of Pepsi-Cola Co. in 1963 at age 42 and presided over the company until his retirement in 1986. During that time, sales grew nearly 40-fold through acquisitions and the ?Pepsi Challenge??its high-profile marketing assault on the dominance of rival Coca-Cola Co.
?He was relentless about growing our business, a fearless leader, and the ultimate salesman,? said PepsiCo CEO and Chairman Ramon Laguarta. ?In many ways, he was the man who made PepsiCo PepsiCo.?
Shortly after Mr. Kendall became CEO, the company launched its ?Pepsi Generation?? campaign that cast Pepsi as the hip, upstart cola for young people and Coke as staid and old-fashioned. PepsiCo put its flagship brand name on Diet Pepsi, which catapulted diet soda into the big time, as a more cautious Coke stuck with its diet offering, Tab. And under Mr. Kendall, the company conducted its ?Pepsi Challenge? taste tests pitting Pepsi directly against Coke.
Mr. Kendall famously said both companies benefited from the ?cola wars,?? a rivalry that continues to this day. ?They brought out the best in us,? he said. ?If there wasn?t a Coca-Cola, we would have had to invent one, and they would have had to invent Pepsi.?
In 1965, Mr. Kendall agreed to another bold move?merging New York-based Pepsi-Cola Co. with Dallas-based potato-chip giant Frito-Lay Co.
Born on a farm in Sequim, Wash., a young Mr. Kendall accepted an athletic scholarship to Western Kentucky State College and worked part time as a shoe salesman. In 1941, he enlisted as a Navy pilot during World War II, flying combat missions in the Pacific, according to a company biography.
He joined Pepsi-Cola in 1947, first working in a bottling plant in New
Rochelle, N.Y., and then on a delivery truck, before becoming a fountain-syrup
salesman. Five years later, at 31, he was promoted to vice president of
national sales. Mr. Kendall headed the international division from 1957 to
1963, nearly doubling the number of countries that sold Pepsi, according to
the company.
In 1959, Mr. Kendall organized a booth at the American National Exhibition in Moscow. With the help of Vice President Richard Nixon, he offered Pepsi to Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev, who agreed to several refills and declared it ?refreshing.?? Photos of the exchange were published around the world.
Pepsi didn?t open its first plant in the Soviet Union until 1974, and only after agreeing to a complex barter arrangement involving Stolichnaya vodka. Still, that was several years earlier than Coke, which had expanded into more than 100 other countries. Mr. Kendall boasted that Pepsi was the first American consumer product to be sold in the Soviet Union.
Mr. Kendall came to know several heads of state, none more than Mr. Nixon, who was a legal adviser in the 1960s and played piano at Mr. Kendall?s wedding in 1965. In 1968, after being elected president, Mr. Nixon asked Mr. Kendall to get some advice from departing President Lyndon B. Johnson. Mr. Johnson relayed that the audio-taping system he had installed was a helpful organizing tool?advice Mr. Nixon later regretted when recordings helped drive him from office during the Watergate scandal, according to several historical accounts.
Mr. Kendall also was close friends with the ballet dancer Mikhail Baryshnikov and the godfather of one of his children. As chairman of the American Ballet Theatre Foundation, he recruited Mr. Baryshnikov to become artistic director in 1980, according to multiple accounts.
He was on less-friendly terms with the actress Joan Crawford, who had married
Pepsi-Cola CEO and Chairman Alfred Steele and joined the company?s board after
Mr. Steele died in 1959. Ms. Crawford and Mr. Kendall clashed frequently, with
Ms. Crawford nicknaming him Fang, according to several published accounts.
Alfred Steele (1900-1959) succeeded Walter Mack as head of Pepsi in 1950;
Herbert Barnet(1909-1970) succeeded Steele on his death and named
Crawford to the board;
Kendall succeeded Barnet as president in 1963 and later as chairman,
merging Pepsi-Cola Company with Frito-Lay to create PepsiCo in 1965,
and pushed Crawford off the board in 1973.
Post by Big Mongo
In 1982, as Mr. Kendall was approaching retirement, PepsiCo was hit by a
major scandal after executives falsely inflated profits for five years at the
company?s Mexican and Philippine bottling businesses. According to a company
biography, Mr. Kendall?s pay was cut 40% and he canceled bonuses and borrowed
$1 million to buy PepsiCo stock.
By late 1983, though, Mr. Kendall gave the green light for Pepsi to sponsor a Jacksons reunion concert tour with Michael Jackson for a $5 million price tag?regarded as an astronomical figure at the time.
Mr. Kendall retired as CEO in 1986, remaining on PepsiCo?s board until 1991.
He kept an office at the company?s headquarters in Purchase N.Y., just a few
miles from his home in Greenwich, Conn., and was a frequent visitor. He also
traveled widely as a PepsiCo ambassador?including to Russia, where he received
an Order of Friendship medal from President Vladimir Putin in 2004.
He moved the company to Purchase in 1970;
Mack had moved it to Manhattan in 1948;
George Guth of former parent Loft candy had moved it to
Long Island City in 1935...it was of North Carolina origin.
Post by Big Mongo
Despite a two-decade grip on the company, Mr. Kendall carefully avoided
involvement in his successors? decisions
D. Wayne Callaway,Roger Enrico,Indra Nooyi,and Laguarta.
Post by Big Mongo
but always made himself available for counsel, Michael White, PepsiCo?s
former international chief, wrote in a lengthy tribute in 2009.
Mr. Kendall died of natural causes at home, his family said. Mr. Kendall is survived by his wife, Sigrid Kendall, known to friends as Bim, and four children, Edward, Donna, Donald Jr. and Kent.
-=-=-
The World Trade Center towers MUST rise again,
at least as tall as before...or terror has triumphed.
David Samuel Barr
2020-09-22 05:15:57 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Big Mongo
https://www.wsj.com/articles/pepsico-boss-donald-kendall-who-started-the-cola-wars-has-died-11600638498
PepsiCo Boss Donald Kendall, Who Started the Cola Wars, Has Died
As CEO, Kendall launched the ‘Pepsi Challenge’ and beat Coca-Cola into the Soviet Union
By Mike Esterl and Jennifer Maloney
Updated Sept. 20, 2020 7:08 pm ET
PRINT
TEXT
3
Donald M. Kendall, who built PepsiCo Inc. into a snack-and-beverage juggernaut and introduced the
Soviet Union to American cola at the height of the Cold War, died Saturday. He was 99 years old.
[massive snippage]
Post by Big Mongo
Mr. Kendall retired as CEO in 1986, remaining on PepsiCo’s board until 1991. He kept an office at
the company’s headquarters in Purchase N.Y., just a few miles from his home in Greenwich, Conn.,
He retired in June 1986 with a huge party in
the sculpture garden named for him behind the
Pepsico headquarters building. At the time
I was with one of the world's leading chamber
orchestras, Philharmonia Virtuosi, which for
years held its primary concert series at the
Performing Arts Center at what is now called
Purchase College, across the street from
Pepsico, and occasionally had participated
in projects which had had Pepsico involvement,
such as the Summerfest concert series. We
were approached on short notice to provide
the music for the event, and for once we were
given a budget which let us include enough
players and pay the hire & rights fees for
some of the music we were asked to include.
As our own surprise gift to Don, the music
director and I arranged and included in the
program a medley of Pepsi jingles through the
years, from "Pepsi-Cola Hits the Spot" through
the one based on Michael Jackson's "Billie Jean".
Topic Cop
2021-01-02 02:45:38 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Between this and the discontinuation of TaB makes me wonder if Cola itself will survive much longer. I don't know anyone who drinks it.
Louis Epstein
2021-01-03 16:06:04 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Topic Cop
Between this and the discontinuation of TaB makes me wonder if Cola itself will
survive much longer. I don't know anyone who drinks it.
A friend of mine comes up to my place most weekends and has a Coca-Cola;
I keep him supplied though I rarely have any myself.
Pepsi,I never touch at all.

-=-=-
The World Trade Center towers MUST rise again,
at least as tall as before...or terror has triumphed.
Topic Cop
2021-01-04 00:09:52 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Louis Epstein
Post by Topic Cop
Between this and the discontinuation of TaB makes me wonder if Cola itself will
survive much longer. I don't know anyone who drinks it.
A friend of mine comes up to my place most weekends and has a Coca-Cola;
I keep him supplied though I rarely have any myself.
Pepsi,I never touch at all.
-=-=-
The World Trade Center towers MUST rise again,
at least as tall as before...or terror has triumphed.
At least the cola makers figured out you can put anything in a container and people will buy it.
Loading...