PepsiCo South Africa announces new CEO, Riaan Heyl

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Riaan Heyl took over from retiring PepsiCo South Africa CEO Tertius Carstens on 1 May.

Riaan Heyl is the new CEO at PepsiCo South Africa, taking over from retiring Tertius Carstens, who has been in the role for almost 30 years.

“This is an extraordinary opportunity to lead one of the best food and beverage businesses in South Africa,” Riaan said about the appointment.

Riaan joined PepsiCo in 2020, after it acquired Pioneer Foods, where he was serving as the business executive of essential foods at the time. He was appointed the company’s vice president of go-to-market and commercial integration of the South African portfolio, putting him at the “forefront of building one PepsiCo in South Africa commercially and culturally”, according to PepsiCo CEO of Africa, Middle East and South Asia Eugene Willemsen.

In 2022, Riaan became the vice president of food and beverages at PepsiCo South Africa, and in 2023, he was promoted to COO.

However, it was long before this that Riaan impressed the leadership at PepsiCo, with Eugene saying he had “proven himself to be an outstanding leader over his long career at Pioneer”.

After completing his audit articles at PwC, Riaan joined Pioneer Foods in its finance division in 2000 as a financial manager for corporate finance. He was promoted to financial director for the company’s SA Dried Fruit division in 2002. After five years in the role, Riaan moved into the more operational side of the business, serving as the managing executive for various divisions of the food group.

Riaan is a qualified chartered accountant, with a BAcc (Hons) from Stellenbosch University.

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