PepsiCo Exec on How to Stimulate Tech Transformation Within a Enterprise

  • PepsiCo is one of the largest providers all over the world, netting $86 billion in profits past yr.
  • Athina Kanioura, PepsiCo’s initial-at any time main tactic and transformation officer, has revamped the company’s inner electronic techniques.
  • This short article is section of “Tech Management Playbook,” a sequence that shares suggestions from the most impressive tech execs.

When Athina Kanioura joined PepsiCo in 2020 as its initially-ever main system and transformation officer, her objective was to fully revolutionize how the firm utilized technological know-how internally. 

But PepsiCo is no mother-and-pop store. It’s a domestic identify in above 200 international locations all over the world. With practically 500 purchaser products, 7 business enterprise divisions, and 300,000 employees, Kanioura had a lot of perform 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 1st 9 months of her tenure, Kanioura acquired to know the organization’s functions and its individuals, from C-suite executives and revenue administrators to shipping drivers and warehouse personnel. 

“You require to convey people aboard, not their manager only,” she reported. “Ahead of we even go and do nearly anything, I have to have to make clear what it suggests for them. This way, they experience component of the resolution and not section of the issue.”

With more than two many years of engineering implementation knowledge, Kanioura shared perception into how firms — massive or tiny — can strategically employ new resources internally.

Describe how technologies will enhance the experience of your workers

Kanioura claimed know-how has a way of scaring employees, not simply because they will not be capable to understand it, but simply because they will not know how the company designs to use it. 

“This is not about getting your task, this isn’t really about getting rid of levels of the group,” she stated. “We will not be expecting it to do miracles, but we want to display them how it will assist them to do their task much better.”

Clueing every employee in on PepsiCo’s digital transformation roadmap by obvious, concise interaction is the 1st phase, Kanioura included. 

“If you take care of this as a technological know-how modify, it will not be successful,” she said. “This is predominantly a cultural and small business alter driven by technologies. So it has to count on the men and women who are going to adopt these capabilities.” 

Set up world specifications at the onset

Each tech chief is familiar with know-how is a device that can be used in a range of techniques — which is the splendor and flaw of it. And a business as massive and storied as PepsiCo is positive to have a variety of unique workflows during the establishment. Which is what Kanioura observed when she commenced surveying PepsiCo’s initial tech procedures. 

“There were not world wide criteria,” she explained. For the reason that PepsiCo operates in so lots of nations, each and every workforce had its possess purposeful frameworks and rules. “All the things was siloed.”

Regularity is essential, too, Kanioura included. If a thing is not working for the full business, it may have to be eliminated for the betterment of all. 

“We had to function to proper and, in some instances, get rid of some of the standards that existed and exchange them with world specifications,” she reported. 

Inspire employee schooling and skill development

Just one of the ways PepsiCo is employing its 5-calendar year world-wide digital method is by launching PepsiCo Electronic Academy exactly where staff, no subject what part or place they keep, have access to instructional resources to advance their profession. 

This has presented workers the option to “upskill on their own” and “have a improved being familiar with of what this adjust means for them,” Kanioura reported. 

The electronic academy offers teacher-led plans, films, web site posts, and podcasts on subject areas like leadership and administration, as well as “upcoming-all set” skills. 

Encouraging personnel instruction and skill progress also would make the firm’s electronic roadmap seen, which is why Kanioura believes it is significant for absolutely everyone in your firm to know the business’s long-phrase objectives. 

“Every staff in the foreseeable future will be a knowledge worker,” Kanioura explained. “We all have accessibility to the exact technology, the exact same digital ecosystem, so why not at operate? It need to be particularly the identical. For me, technologies and electronic is listed here to empower the human. We have to have a human-centric solution. If I never do that, I have failed.”

Equilibrium the want for velocity with potential to execute

Tech moves rapidly. But persons, and company tradition, do not. And that’s in which adjust administration will come in. 

“If you question me, ‘Would you like the 5-yr strategy to be a 3-year method?’ Totally!” Kanioura stated. “My individuals would soar up and down. But would a business the sizing of PepsiCo be equipped to absorb that modify in three yrs? Totally not. I would split the firm.” 

Kanioura extra, “People today who occur from tech are area specialists, and they can understand the business. But, if you can find an individual who’s been a salesperson for 15 a long time, it is heading to be pretty tricky for them to discover technological innovation. You have to come across the suitable way of interaction.”

Mapping out a conversation campaign and setting up worldwide standards are fantastic very first methods, she claimed. But the serious get the job done is taking care of expectations. “A ton of my colleagues want to move rapidly, and then they go rapid, and then they are unsuccessful,” she claimed. 

One particular of the techniques Kanioura thinks corporations can expedite technological innovation is by figuring out alter agents: people today within your corporation who are in a natural way curious and have tech savviness. Leaders can identify improve brokers either by a world suggestion procedure or by tapping administrators to invite associates of their workforce. 

Change brokers then go on to consider classes in purposeful tech abilities, like details evaluation, program engineering, or even artificial intelligence. Then they report again to their groups on how they can undertake the new technologies they have uncovered and act as an ambassador for the company’s broader electronic transformation aims. 

At the conclusion of the day, Kanioura thinks it is critical to know who you happen to be seeking to assistance with the aid of technology and not be driven by bottom-line expansion. 

“You need to come across methods to drive adoption,” Kanioura stated. “I really don’t make apps for my engineers. I create the applications for the consumers, our shopper associates, and our staff.”