Larry Thompson Tapped to Refill GC Position at PepsiCo
Larry Thompson cant seem to leave the Pepsi Generation behind. PepsiCo, the global food and beverage giant, has rehired Thompson to be its new executive vice president of government affairs, general counsel, and corporate secretary. Starting July 30, he will replace his own former replacement, Maura Abeln Smithwho, according to a statement from PepsiCo, chose to leave the company to pursue other opportunities. She has been the companys GC since May 2011.
Smiths year at PepsiCo now becomes another part of her noteworthy in-house record: she has been a corporate lawyer for 30 years, and is one of the first women to be a Rhodes Scholarship recipient.
In a June 2011 interview with CorpCounsel.com, just after Smith had started her job as PepsiCos legal chief, she said that the companys legal department included 500 employees, with 165 lawyers worldwide. Her biggest challenge, she said then, was to develop the people in the department and have the department transform itself to support the company. Things have rapidly changed in the globalized business world, Smith noted, and 47 percent of PepsiCos revenue is from outside the United States.
The returning GC is no stranger to PepsiCo. Thompson retired from the Purchase, New York, company last year, after working in-house from 2004 to 2011, to be a John A. Sibley professor in corporate and business law at the University of Georgia School of Law.
Once again overseeing the legal department at a multinational company with net revenues of over $65 billion and 22 brands that retail $1 billion annually each, Thompson will be responsible for PepsiCos worldwide legal function and government affairs and public policy organizations, as well as global compliance. In addition, Thompson will oversee the companys philanthropic division, the PepsiCo Foundation. He was not available for immediate comment.
Thompson will report to chairman and CEO Indra Nooyi. We are excited to welcome Larry back to PepsiCo, said Nooyi, in the companys statement. "Larry is a proven and seasoned leader with a strong track record of success at PepsiCo. He has been a highly regarded and trusted advisor, and he has a deep knowledge of, and passion for our business. We will benefit greatly from Larry's leadership moving forward.
Prior to working for PepsiCo, Thompson was a senior fellow with the Brookings Institution in Washington, D.C. He served as the deputy Attorney General for the U.S. Department of Justice under President George W. Bush until 2003 and led the department's National Security Coordination Council.
Prior to his work in-house and in the government, he was an attorney for the Monsanto Company in St. Louis, and joined King and Spalding in Atlanta in 1977, where he practiced law until 1982, and returned as a partner in 1986. Thompson has a bachelors degree from Culver-Stockton College in Missouri, a masters degree from Michigan State University, and a J.D. from the University of Michigan.