PepsiCo Exec on How to Inspire Tech Transformation Within just a Corporation

  • PepsiCo is one of the premier providers globally, netting $86 billion in earnings final 12 months.
  • Athina Kanioura, PepsiCo’s initial-at any time main method and transformation officer, has revamped the firm’s inside digital approaches.
  • This short article is portion of “Tech Leadership Playbook,” a collection that shares information from the most ground breaking tech execs.

When Athina Kanioura joined PepsiCo in 2020 as its very first-ever main technique and transformation officer, her target was to fully revolutionize how the organization used technology internally. 

But PepsiCo is no mom-and-pop store. It is really a family title in around 200 countries about the globe. With practically 500 purchaser goods, seven business divisions, and 300,000 workforce, Kanioura experienced a great deal of function to do. 

Headshot of PepsiCo chief strategy and transformation officer Athina Kaniouram who is wearing a light and dark gray color-blocked blouse.

Athina Kanioura.


For the to start with nine months of her tenure, Kanioura obtained to know the organization’s functions and its persons, from C-suite executives and product sales professionals to supply motorists and warehouse staff. 

“You need to have to provide persons aboard, not their boss only,” she claimed. “Before we even go and do nearly anything, I need to make clear what it indicates for them. This way, they experience aspect of the answer and not component of the trouble.”

With more than two a long time of engineering implementation experience, Kanioura shared insight into how businesses — large or small — can strategically carry out new instruments internally.

Describe how know-how will improve the working experience of your employees

Kanioura claimed technology has a way of scaring staff, not simply because they will never be capable to comprehend it, but for the reason that they do not know how the company options to use it. 

“This is not about taking your career, this isn’t about doing away with levels of the group,” she said. “We do not count on it to do wonders, but we have to have to clearly show them how it will help them to do their task better.”

Clueing each and every personnel in on PepsiCo’s digital transformation roadmap by apparent, concise conversation is the first move, Kanioura included. 

“If you take care of this as a technology modify, it will not be successful,” she stated. “This is predominantly a cultural and business enterprise improve powered by engineering. So it has to count on the people today who are likely to adopt individuals capabilities.” 

Build world wide standards at the onset

Each and every tech chief understands engineering is a device that can be utilized in a wide range of approaches — that’s the natural beauty and flaw of it. And a corporation as huge and storied as PepsiCo is absolutely sure to have a wide variety of diverse workflows all over the institution. That’s what Kanioura identified when she began surveying PepsiCo’s preliminary tech approaches. 

“There were not global specifications,” she claimed. Simply because PepsiCo operates in so quite a few countries, every single workforce had its own useful frameworks and rules. “Everything was siloed.”

Regularity is essential, far too, Kanioura added. If something is not doing work for the whole business, it may well have to be eradicated for the betterment of all. 

“We had to work to suitable and, in some instances, get rid of some of the expectations that existed and switch them with world wide requirements,” she mentioned. 

Encourage worker instruction and skill enhancement

One particular of the means PepsiCo is employing its five-yr world wide electronic method is by launching PepsiCo Digital Academy wherever employees, no issue what role or placement they maintain, have entry to academic assets to advance their vocation. 

This has supplied staff members the opportunity to “upskill themselves” and “have a superior knowledge of what this improve implies for them,” Kanioura claimed. 

The electronic academy provides instructor-led applications, video clips, web site posts, and podcasts on subject areas like management and management, as well as “long term-prepared” skills. 

Encouraging staff instruction and ability advancement also would make the firm’s digital roadmap obvious, which is why Kanioura thinks it is really crucial for everyone in your corporation to know the business’s lengthy-expression aims. 

“Each employee in the future will be a knowledge employee,” Kanioura said. “We all have obtain to the exact same technology, the exact digital ecosystem, so why not at operate? It really should be precisely the exact. For me, technological innovation and digital is listed here to empower the human. We have to have a human-centric solution. If I will not do that, I have unsuccessful.”

Equilibrium the need for speed with potential to execute

Tech moves rapidly. But people today, and corporate tradition, do not. And which is the place alter management arrives in. 

“If you talk to me, ‘Would you like the 5-year approach to be a three-year tactic?’ Completely!” Kanioura reported. “My persons would bounce up and down. But would a small business the dimensions of PepsiCo be able to take up that adjust in 3 many years? Totally not. I would split the enterprise.” 

Kanioura included, “Individuals who occur from tech are area specialists, and they can study the business enterprise. But, if you will find anyone who’s been a salesperson for 15 a long time, it really is likely to be incredibly tough for them to learn technology. You have to find the right way of interaction.”

Mapping out a interaction marketing campaign and setting up worldwide requirements are terrific initially methods, she explained. But the actual get the job done is controlling expectations. “A lot of my colleagues want to transfer speedy, and then they go quick, and then they fail,” she claimed. 

One of the methods Kanioura thinks firms can expedite technological innovation is by identifying alter brokers: persons inside your corporation who are normally curious and have tech savviness. Leaders can recognize change brokers both by a world wide recommendation procedure or by tapping professionals to invite users of their group. 

Improve agents then go on to get classes in purposeful tech techniques, like information evaluation, software program engineering, or even artificial intelligence. Then they report back to their groups on how they can adopt the new technological innovation they’ve figured out and act as an ambassador for the firm’s broader digital transformation plans. 

At the stop of the day, Kanioura believes it is really significant to know who you’re striving to aid with the help of know-how and not be pushed by base-line growth. 

“You need to discover strategies to generate adoption,” Kanioura stated. “I never make applications for my engineers. I construct the applications for the customers, our consumer associates, and our employees.”

Candice Cearley

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