Food and beverage giant PepsiCo South Africa has appointed Riaan Heyl as its new chief executive officer, effective 1 May 2023. This appointment comes as his predecessor, Tertius Carstens, retires after 29 years with the company.

Heyl is a chartered accountant by training and joined Pioneer Foods in 2000. He has had a rewarding career that included senior leadership roles within finance and general management. He led the Essential Foods portfolio within Pioneer Foods from 2017 and following PepsiCo’s acquisition of Pioneer Foods], in 2020, took on the role of vice president for Go to Market and Commercial Integration across the South African portfolio.

Heyl steps into the CEO position after serving as PepsiCo’s chief operating officer in South Africa since January 2023.

Eugene Willemsen, PepsiCo’s chief executive officer for Africa, Middle East and South Asia (AMESA) commented on these changes: “Through a long illustrious career with Pioneer Foods, Riaan has proven himself to be an outstanding leader. He has been at the forefront of building one PepsiCo in South Africa commercially and culturally.”

When asked about his appointment, Heyl said, “This is an extraordinary opportunity to lead one of the best food and beverage businesses in South Africa. I’m grateful to build on what has already been achieved and passionate about the company’s trajectory for growth where shared value, sustainability, our people and consumers are at the centre.”

“I am excited about the future – notwithstanding the current economic environment and all the challenges we face in South Africa. I truly believe we have iconic brands and the best people to ensure our continued success as we become Faster, Stronger and Better at delivering more smiles with every sip and every bite.”

In South Africa, PepsiCo’s brand portfolio includes Weet-Bix, Simba, Lay’s, Doritos, Liqui Fruit, Sasko, White Star and Spekko, amongst other brands.