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Who's who?
23/03/2017

Xavier Orriols

Ricardo Migueláñez. @rmiguelanez

In our first edition of Who's Who in 2017, we're highlighting the Southwest European President of PepsiCo, Xavier Orriols, who's also the Senior Vice-President of Strategy and Transformation for PepsiCo Europe and Sub-Saharan Africa.

He has a degree in industrial engineering from the Polytechnic University of Catalonia, and a master's degree in finance from ESADE Business School. His career at PepsiCo, which is based in Purchase, NY, began in the 1990s.

Over the last 27 years, he has headed the IT, Marketing and Finance departments at PepsiCo Foods Spain, PepsiCo's financial offices in Southern and Northern Europe (based in The Netherlands), as well as PepsiCo Foods Iberia.

Eight years ago, in January 2009, Orriols was named President of PepsiCo's Iberia division, which included the Food and Beverage divisions for both Spain and Portugal. As from 2012, he became responsible for Italy as well. The Southwest Europe division was created, which he presides over since then.

He has also been the Vice-President of Strategy and Transformations for Europe and Sub-Saharan Africa since March 2015. He's a director of the Association of Manufacturers and Distributors (AECOC), Ecoembres, and the Spanish Food and Drink Industry Federation (FIAB), all of which are emblematic institutions for the industry.

For Orriols, being loved and respected by his friends and colleagues is extremely important. Professionally speaking, during his time with the company he did an excellent job managing the economic crisis in southern Europe, where took the necessary measures to keep the company in good standing.

PepsiCo conducts an organizational health survey every year, in which all employees participate and in which satisfaction and commitment are measured. During the crisis, the Spanish subsidiary obtained the best results at global level, much to the surprise of the company, which expected a dramatic slide in those parameters due to the situation and the measures they were forced to implement. The surveys reflected balanced, responsible management of measures which were necessary to ensure the sustainability of the business, all the while maintaining communication and a commitment to employees. According to Orriols, that has been one of his greatest achievements in the last few years.

Common sense, transparency, proximity and humility are four key aspects of his management style. As he says, it's important to always put yourself in the other person's shoes, the person who's affected by the decisions being made.

Heading the Iberia subsidiary of PepsiCo doesn't keep Orriols from enjoying his hobby: skiing. He still spends a week each year on a ski trip with his friends. His other favorite sports include paddle and swimming.

He's also an avid fan of soccer, tennis and motorcycle racing— in short, he loves sports.

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