Al Carey, CEO, PepsiCo Americas Beverages

There are few business leaders out there today who have seen more than Al Carey. After 30 years spanning the company, across brands and through various functions, in 2011, Al became the CEO of PepsiCo Americas Beverages. In assuming the role, he brought his own unique vantage point on leadership.

June 2018

Al draws on his depth of experience – as a business man, a father, a coach, a student, and much more – each day as he strives to fulfill his role as a “servant leader” and empower others. As such, he leads in a style that is singularly his own, but offers insights that can benefit us all.

Deeply committed to his position as a people enabler, Al works hard to make PepsiCo a company that does more than sell any one or bundle of products: Under his leadership, it is a place where people can test and maximize their personal potential.

Detaching from the outcome can produce an even greater result (3:28)
I love the brands we sell, but I don't jump out of bed in the morning because I'm selling a Pepsi or I'm selling a tractor or I'm selling a piece of computer equipment. What makes me jump out of bed in the morning is the idea that you can impact people with some of these concepts and that's the thing that's the most exciting.
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Create a simple strategy that everyone can articulate and see themselves in (5:18)
I'm not an expert at all this stuff, I'll just tell you what has worked for me, and I'll say that listening is a huge, big important item. And as a leader sometimes in the early days I felt like I needed to do all the talking and maybe tell people what to do.
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Fear is the enemy of a leader (4:01)
I really notice though in times of adversity or difficult situations, that's when your leadership style or your leadership effectiveness is really created. And you know the mark of a great leader is somebody that manages in adverse times -- in a big way and helps people think.
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Great leaders help people believe in the possibilities (3:53)
Two things that really are a common theme for me and that is try to use optimism in times of adversity. And try to make people believe in what's possible and give them hope. That's an important characteristic in leadership.
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Increase performance and build pride through the power of purpose (4:36)
This company's always been a high performance organization, I mean for many years, if you went back over time and said how did Pepsi Co perform, always good, you know a strong performer in the stock market and performance of it's beverage brands and it's snack brands. But how about purpose? You know what was the purpose part of this?
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Leaders should serve and not be served (4:02)
I think I've always believed in the basic premises of servant leadership which is that you'll always do better in business if you serve others. And you'll find that your team will have loyalty to you and they'll want to give their best for you and you always perform better if you serve.
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Leadership vs. Management (3:53)
Letting go empowering people requires a certain amount of letting go. When I came up through the ranks I was actually trained to manage two levels down and I got rewarded for that.
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Tough times may be the best times to empower people (2:26)
I was saying we're an empowering, servant leadership organization, when the pressure gets on, you start pulling the reins back in and you feel like you're in a better position to make lots of decisions at the center. As you see -- you know better.
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What do you think? (3:12)
What I've noticed over the years is there's so many young people that are ready to jump in and to give their ideas and jump in to the middle of the fray and they stay back because they're lacking confidence.
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The Power of Purpose (4:36)
This company's always been a high performance organization, I mean for many years, if you went back over time and said how did Pepsi Co perform, always good, you know a strong performer in the stock market and performance of it's beverage brands and it's snack brands. But how about purpose?
Watch