EVP, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary
Food, Beverage & Agriculture
In a year that saw tremendous upheaval, PepsiCo’s General Counsel David Flavell was extremely clear about what made him the proudest: the camaraderie of PepsiCo’s employee base. “I’m most proud of our 290,000 associates around the world, who proved they’re an incredible team. I’d make a special call-out to our frontline associates, the people who made, moved, and sold our products during what was an incredibly challenging and difficult year. The resiliency and commitment they showed was really second to none.”
The international food and beverage giant PepsiCo is among an extremely select group: the fifteen-time World’s Most Ethical Companies honorees, having been recognized every year since the program was created. When asked to what he attributed that longevity, Flavell responded, “It’s really a testament to the way our ethics and compliance program supports who we are. It’s fundamentally a part of how everyone conducts themselves across PepsiCo.”
Reaching everyone across PepsiCo is a tall order since the company operates in over 200 countries around the world. For Flavell, that success ultimately comes down to the company’s fundamental principles, tone and values. “It really struck me during the interview process when I joined PepsiCo ten years ago, and it’s remained,” Flavell recalls. “The PepsiCo Way includes some fundamental behaviors, and acting with integrity is one of those behaviors.”
Flavell rose to the General Counsel’s office from the role of Chief Compliance & Ethics Officer, so he’s been responsible for shepherding that culture for years. Along the way, he’s watched as society’s expectations expanded in tandem with the company’s horizons. “Over time we have expanded our outlook beyond just our company operations. We work with our partners in a number of areas to further drive our program.”
To that end, PepsiCo has spent the last several years investing in a variety of initiatives to make its products healthier and lessen their impact on the planet. The Beyond the Bottle Campaign launched in 2019 seeks to significantly reduce the amount of single-use plastic involved in delivering its beverage products, supported by its acquisition of SodaStream. In January, the company announced an innovative joint venture with plant-based protein leader Beyond Meat. As the world reopens, expect to see PepsiCo continue to help drive us in a healthier, more sustainable direction.