Radical Reshaping

IDSA Member is Having "Huge Impact" on PepsiCo

May 6 2016 - 9:49am

PepsiCo's Chief Design Officer—IDSA Member Mauro Porcini—is being praised by the global corporation’s CEO for leading a design team that’s “improving the top line and the bottom line… building a sustainable pipeline of innovation for the future. It's allowing us to reframe our business."

Indra Nooyi, who took over PepsiCo in 2007, hired Porcini in 2012. She tells Dezeen that since then, Porcini and the company’s first, in-house design team have had a huge impact. "I'd say that design isn't just improving what we're doing…. I wouldn't be surprised to see the design capability double in the next three years again. I think that if you really want to embed design capability and thinking in the company you have to change the culture, and have a critical mass of design people."

Pepsico recently debuted new looks, including an aluminum Pepsi bottle designed by IDSA Member Karim Rashid.

Porcini, who spoke at IDSA’s 2015 International Conference and was featured in the Design Leadership Panel, tells Dezeen he’s hiring 60 more designers in locations around the world—to the add to the 100 already on his team. He’s looking for industrial designers, graphic designers, packaging designers, interior designers, entrepreneurs and leaders. "[We want] people who understand business; people who are real entrepreneurs, real innovators—who—if they didn't work in a company, would start their own enterprise.”

Adds Nooyi, who was named the second most powerful woman in business in 2015 by Fortune, "We had a dreadful problem in the company: our people didn't really understand what design was. I couldn't fire them all and hire a new team, so I had to change their heads and their hearts in some way. The only way of doing this was to hire a design team that would come and radically reshape the company."

“A brand is like a person, like a celebrity,” Porcini tells Fortune. “It needs to have a point of view.”

"Under Porcini, design has become an integral part of product development and marketing," sums up Fortune.