New York (CNN Business)Former PepsiCo CEO Donald Kendall has died. He was 99.
PepsiCo confirmed his death on a memorial page, which indicates he served as the CEO of both Pepsi-Cola and PepsiCo for 23 years. The company said he retired in 1986, but was “a trusted advisor and advocate for PepsiCo leaders, serving the company a total of 39 years during his extraordinary life.”
Kendall’s family said in a news release that he died Saturday.
“All of us at PepsiCo are devastated by the passing of Don Kendall,” said PepsiCo Chairman and CEO Ramon L. Laguarta in a statement. “Don was the architect of the PepsiCo family. He was relentless about growing our business, a fearless leader, and the ultimate salesman.”
The company said that Kendall and Herman Lay organized the deal to merge Pepsi-Cola and Frito-Lay in 1965, creating the “modern-day” PepsiCo. He was a long-time friend of former US President Richard Nixon, according to the company.