Life at PepsiCo

Dare for Better: Meet the CFO who says PepsiCo fuels success

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At PepsiCo, leaders exist at all levels. All you need is drive and determination, and we’ll give you the tools needed to grow your unique skill sets.

Career goals matter. After all, our professional lives have a direct impact on our bigger, personal ones. Who do you want to be? Where do you want to go? What do you want to accomplish?

PepsiCo empowers all associates to answer these questions and gives them the tools to bring them to life. Maybe you want to switch job functions, discipline or location in the middle of your career. Maybe you want to take time off to develop an innovative idea or project. All you need to do is think big and Dare for Better. Resources — including PEP U, myeducation and the Digital Academy — are as unique as your aspirations and can help you get where you need to go.

Here, associate Ryme Abdel Nour, Chief Financial Officer, Middle East Beverages, shares how PepsiCo’s learning environment creates meaningful opportunities for everyone to grow.

Ryme Abdel Nour

CFO, Middle East Beverages

Beirut, Lebanon

You’ve been at PepsiCo for about 20 years. Tell us about your journey.

I joined PepsiCo back in 2003. It was my first job, and since then it has been a roller coaster, in a good way. I’ve had about 10 roles in roughly 20 years, split between Dubai and Beirut. I’ve had local and location-free roles covering more than 25 markets in Africa, Middle East and South Asia. I’ve held various roles — from financial planning and analysis (FP&A) , financial reporting and control to IT.

That’s a broad range of experiences in different locations. Can you talk about taking on location-free roles?

When available, location-free roles really give associates opportunities outside of their home country while remaining in their home country. This is especially great for people who don’t want to travel or can’t move to a new place. Covering other markets can help them grow within the company. I’m a huge fan of location-free roles. They allow associates to pursue opportunities that weren’t available to them in the past.

Supportive teams are clearly important to the success of any organization.

Let’s talk about the people of PepsiCo. What have your teams been like, and how have they helped you grow?

Supportive teams are clearly important to the success of any organization. They create positive work environments, generally — increasing productivity, enhancing morale, and fostering creativity and innovation. They create a sense of trust, transparency, authenticity and accountability.

How does PepsiCo develop leaders?

PepsiCo brings on the right people. More than that, they do a great job at committing to their development and well-being. Associates can expect feedback, clear expectations, opportunities for learning and development, and recognition for their achievements.

Leaders exist at all levels, not just at the top.

Do you believe leaders can exist at all levels? Can people who are just starting their career be leaders too?

You can see employees at all levels succeeding in their careers. So, definitely — leaders exist at all levels, not just at the top. Leadership is not limited to managerial or executive positions. Leadership is a set of skills or qualities that anyone can possess, regardless of job title. Frontline workers motivate and inspire others. Mid-level managers can advocate for their team while driving results. This is so beneficial because it creates a culture of leadership.

How does PepsiCo champion associates’ ideas and offer support?

PepsiCo empowers people to take ownership of their work. One pillar of The PepsiCo Way is to voice your opinions fearlessly. All of us are encouraged to bring forward ideas in various forums. For example, we have an annual competition called The Next Big Idea, where associates can bring forward ideas that spur innovation, solve business challenges or create new products. Entrepreneurial opportunities like this allow us to think outside the box.

PepsiCo empowers people to take ownership of their work.

At PepsiCo, you can choose where and how you work. How does this type of flexibility create opportunity and foster leadership?

We have a hybrid work program called Work that Works. It’s one of the best programs I’ve seen at PepsiCo in 20 years. Work that Works maximizes productivity by giving associates flexibility around where and how they work. At this point, hybrid work has shown clear benefits for our teams: benefits of working from home include cuting down on commutes and enhancing work-life balance and employee satisfaction. Meanwhile, working from the office on certain days creates opportunities for collaboration, interaction, and networking. It’s the best of both worlds.

How does PepsiCo help evolve peoples’ unique talents?                                                   

We offer a variety of in-person and virtual programs. PEP U, myDevelopment, myeducation, and the Digital Academy all provide technical and functional guidance and training. In the Middle East, we recently launched something called SWAP to Grow. This program allows associates to apply for a role swap with another employee for roughly three to six months. This is great because you can expand your skill set by joining cross-functional teams or task forces.

Have you leveraged any of these programs?

Yes. In 2019, I was lucky enough to be a part of CIMA Accelerated Path. CIMA is the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants. This is an excellent program that can take up to two to three years to complete. With Accelerated Path, I was able to get CIMA certification in three to  four months.

You are in the driver’s seat when pursuing your career aspirations.

How are passion and ambition rewarded at PepsiCo?

You are in the driver’s seat when pursuing your career aspirations. PepsiCo rewards people who take initiative and put their hands up to develop critical skills. Sometimes that means stepping outside of your comfort zone. My advice is to take roles that will add to your critical experiences. Sometimes these can be lateral moves. You don’t always need to take a role that has a promotion behind it. A collection of diverse experiences is what makes all of us better leaders. PepsiCo sees that and rewards that.

How do you Dare for Better?

Daring for better requires a willingness to take risks — and learning from failure. We should all continuously strive to improve ourselves. How can we do that? By setting ambitious goals, seeking feedback from mentors and peers, and practicing self-reflection.

And don’t forget to surround yourself with positivity! With that, all of us can create a foundation for personal and professional growth.

Learn more about how we Dare for Better at PepsiCo.