The appointment follows the $1.7bn acquisition of Pioneer Foods in March 2020.
The sub-Saharan Africa headquarters will be based in South Africa, which the company plans to leverage to expand and drive profitable growth across the region, an integral part of fulfilling PepsiCo’s ambition to become Africa’s leading food and beverage company.
“Tertius is uniquely qualified and experienced to lead our sub-Saharan African operations with a strong track record in the FMCG sector and African markets. His appointment is a major step in enabling the integration of Pioneer Foods into PepsiCo and the successful execution of our sub-Saharan African growth strategy,” said Eugene Willemsen, CEO of PepsiCo Africa, Middle East and South Asia (AMESA).
Carstens will be supported by four business unit leaders, with combined food and beverage industry experience of more than 100 years, each of whom will be responsible for Essential Foods, Groceries, South Africa Snacks and sub-Saharan Africa Foods and Beverages respectively. Carstens also joins the PepsiCo AMESA executive committee.
An engineer by qualification, Carstens was appointed as Pioneer Foods CEO and executive director in 2017. He has 25 years of experience and a proven track record in the FMCG industry and the African market, and he has been instrumental in the development of the Group’s Joint Ventures which span the African continent.
Commenting on his appointment, Carstens explained that the current Covid-19 pandemic has made clear, and accelerated, the need for decisive and agile decision making, responsiveness and coordination. “We believe this will be best served by a single leadership team across the Pioneer Foods, Simba and SSA Food and Beverage businesses, and together we’re looking forward to overcoming the immediate challenges and positioning the business for growth."