Pepsi chief takes e-role to learn about new economy

David Williams, chief information officer at PepsiCo's European business solutions group, is to take a non-executive role on the...

David Williams, chief information officer at PepsiCo's European business solutions group, is to take a non-executive role on the board of an e-fulfilment company to see how a new-economy business works.

Hazel Ward

Under the terms of the agreement, Williams will act as a non-executive director on the board of iForce, an end-to-end e-fulfilment business which is looking to target larger corporates.

Although the deal is not linked to Williams' role at PepsiCo, he said he hopes to provide iForce with a perspective on the world of larger corporates, and act as a sounding board for what may or may not work.

Williams said the role will give him an interesting window on the strategic thinking behind a new economy company. "IForce is something of a 'new economy' company, which is a completely different world. They have a different approach and they have to be more nimble in what they're doing," he said.

"People in that arena have to integrate with a lot of different companies, and it will be interesting to see how they are doing that. With big corporates, there tends to be some sort of stable tie-up, but, in the e-world, iForce has to move very quickly.

"I am not here to learn about solutions, it's more about the strategic way of thinking."

It is unlikely that there will be a tie-up between PepsiCo and iForce, although Williams noted that Dataforce, iForce's sister company, offers some interesting niche customer relationship management tools.

PepsiCo has invested in business-to-business trading hub Transora, but it was just putting a toe in the water in terms of e-commerce, Williams said.

"It is something of a watching brief to see the way the world develops. PepsiCo makes its success by doing bread-and-butter things very well, things that are proven to add value," he said.

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