PepsiCo Exec on How to Really encourage Tech Transformation Within just a Company

  • PepsiCo is one of the major firms around the globe, netting $86 billion in income final yr.
  • Athina Kanioura, PepsiCo’s 1st-at any time main system and transformation officer, has revamped the company’s inside digital tactics.
  • This post is element of “Tech Leadership Playbook,” a sequence that shares advice from the most revolutionary tech execs.

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

But PepsiCo is no mom-and-pop shop. It can be a house title in around 200 nations around the world around the globe. With nearly 500 shopper products and solutions, seven small business divisions, and 300,000 staff members, Kanioura had a lot of do the job 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 initially 9 months of her tenure, Kanioura received to know the organization’s functions and its people, from C-suite executives and income managers to shipping drivers and warehouse workers. 

“You require to deliver people aboard, not their manager only,” she stated. “Right before we even go and do just about anything, I have to have to explain what it suggests for them. This way, they really feel portion of the alternative and not portion of the trouble.”

With above two many years of engineering implementation practical experience, Kanioura shared insight into how businesses — huge or tiny — can strategically apply new equipment internally.

Demonstrate how technologies will increase the working experience of your personnel

Kanioura claimed technological know-how has a way of scaring employees, not simply because they won’t be capable to comprehend it, but mainly because they do not know how the company programs to use it. 

“This is not about having your position, this is just not about getting rid of layers of the business,” she explained. “We will not count on it to do miracles, but we need to clearly show them how it will assistance them to do their task far better.”

Clueing each and every staff in on PepsiCo’s digital transformation roadmap via obvious, concise conversation is the to start with phase, Kanioura additional. 

“If you treat this as a know-how improve, it will not be profitable,” she reported. “This is predominantly a cultural and business improve driven by technology. So it has to depend on the individuals who are heading to undertake individuals abilities.” 

Create global benchmarks at the onset

Just about every tech chief is familiar with technology is a tool that can be applied in a wide variety of techniques — which is the attractiveness and flaw of it. And a corporation as significant and storied as PepsiCo is certain to have a selection of various workflows all over the establishment. That is what Kanioura discovered when she began surveying PepsiCo’s preliminary tech strategies. 

“There weren’t world-wide criteria,” she explained. Simply because PepsiCo operates in so lots of international locations, each individual team had its individual useful frameworks and rules. “Every little thing was siloed.”

Consistency is key, much too, Kanioura added. If something is not doing work for the complete group, it may well have to be eliminated for the betterment of all. 

“We experienced to operate to accurate and, in some circumstances, get rid of some of the standards that existed and replace them with global requirements,” she said. 

Really encourage personnel education and learning and skill progress

A single of the means PepsiCo is applying its five-12 months world wide digital method is by launching PepsiCo Digital Academy in which staff members, no make a difference what position or posture they hold, have access to academic sources to advance their vocation. 

This has presented employees the option to “upskill on their own” and “have a better comprehension of what this change usually means for them,” Kanioura said. 

The digital academy offers instructor-led plans, videos, blog posts, and podcasts on subject areas like leadership and management, as perfectly as “long term-prepared” skills. 

Encouraging staff education and learning and talent growth also tends to make the company’s electronic roadmap obvious, which is why Kanioura believes it can be crucial for everyone in your business to know the business’s lengthy-time period plans. 

“Just about every personnel in the future will be a knowledge employee,” Kanioura explained. “We all have obtain to the same technology, the very same digital ecosystem, so why not at get the job done? It must be precisely the similar. For me, engineering and electronic is here to empower the human. We have to have a human-centric approach. If I will not do that, I have failed.”

Balance the want for velocity with means to execute

Tech moves quickly. But people today, and company culture, do not. And that’s where by adjust administration arrives in. 

“If you ask me, ‘Would you like the five-12 months strategy to be a a few-calendar year technique?’ Absolutely!” Kanioura claimed. “My men and women would jump up and down. But would a business enterprise the dimension of PepsiCo be able to take in that alter in three several years? Certainly not. I would split the enterprise.” 

Kanioura extra, “Folks who come from tech are domain gurus, and they can understand the business enterprise. But, if there is another person who’s been a salesperson for 15 several years, it’s heading to be quite tricky for them to understand know-how. You have to locate the right way of communication.”

Mapping out a communication campaign and establishing world standards are excellent initial steps, she reported. But the serious perform is handling anticipations. “A good deal of my colleagues want to go rapid, and then they go rapid, and then they are unsuccessful,” she stated. 

A single of the strategies Kanioura thinks firms can expedite technological innovation is by identifying improve agents: men and women within just your business who are in a natural way curious and have tech savviness. Leaders can establish change brokers possibly by a world wide advice approach or by tapping supervisors to invite customers of their group. 

Alter agents then go on to acquire classes in useful tech abilities, like details assessment, software package engineering, or even synthetic intelligence. Then they report back again to their teams on how they can undertake the new know-how they’ve uncovered and act as an ambassador for the company’s broader digital transformation goals. 

At the finish of the day, Kanioura thinks it’s crucial to know who you’re hoping to assist with the help of know-how and not be pushed by bottom-line growth. 

“You will need to uncover approaches to travel adoption,” Kanioura claimed. “I don’t make apps for my engineers. I build the apps for the individuals, our client associates, and our personnel.”