Charming Pepsi boss, 'lightning rod for controversy', to retire at 56

The man described by AdAge as "the divisive figure at the centre of many of PepsiCo's biggest marketing campaigns " is retiring at 56.

d'Amore: 'Charming Italian'

Massimo d"Amore's departure is expected to be announced today. The announcement "dovetails" with an investor meeting in New York , said the magazine.

"A long shadow at PepsiCo and in the marketing world" has been cast by d'Amore, said AdAge, describing him as "a charming Italian but also a lightning rod for controversy."

He joined the company in 1995 from Procter & Gamble and oversaw the creation of new logos, packaging and marketing campaigns for several brands, including Pepsi, Tropicana, and Gatorade. But many marketers left the company.

He held a number of posts but latterly As CEO of PepsiCo Beverages Americas, d'Amore "truly made a splash," said AdAge.

In 2008, the company unveiled plans to overhaul beverage marketing and packaging and CEO Indra Nooyi and d'Amore called for a "quantum leap" forward defining Pepsi as a cultural leader in soft drinks.

Changes to Tropicana's packaging in 2009, however, were a disaster. In seven weeks sales of Tropicana Pure Premium plummeted 20%. The company scrapped the new packaging.

The management style of d'Amore was said to have rubbed some colleagues the wrong way.

Said AdAge, "In mid-2009 former executives told Ad Age they left the company in part because Mr. d'Amore's tight control over the brands led to a chasm between those who agreed with his views and those who didn't."

But d'Amore had been credited with helping to return the Gatorade brand to growth. In the last year, Pepsi ceded the No. 2 spot in the cola category to Diet Coke.

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