As a global business leader Vince has exercised his far-reaching influence on a wide range of issues. He’s counseled Yao Ming on the development of the Chinese Basketball Association and met with government officials in China to discuss plans to advance the nation’s sports infrastructure. Vince has been an active supporter of Chelsea FC’s “Say No to Anti-semitism” campaign, hosting and participating in events to advocate for the transformative power of sport to resolve disputes and create social change. He has recently spoken at global events in Tel Aviv, Beijing, Shanghai, Berlin, and Zurich.

Final Whistle on Hate with Bruce Buck, Robert Kraft, et. al., Boston

Promoting Tolerance thru Sport with Bruce Buck, et. al., Tel Aviv

PepsiCo Executive
Vince enjoyed a dynamic 20-year career at PepsiCo, beginning as a member of an Internal Consulting group at Frito-Lay and concluding with a 5-year stint as President of the Fountain Beverage Division for Pepsi-Cola, North America. His diverse career at PepsiCo, which began with snack food giant Frito-Lay, saw his career path veer into brand marketing, as he led the company’s most profitable tortilla chip brands, Doritos, Tostitos, and Santitas. During his tenure at the helm of Doritos, his team led the national launch of Cool Ranch Doritos, which turned out to be the company’s most successful brand line extension, at that time. In addition, he managed the award-winning Jay Leno Doritos ad campaign. His rejuvenation and double-digit growth of the Doritos brand earned him a promotion to Pepsi, where he took on the role of Vice President of Field Marketing in Pepsi’s midwestern division. Based in Chicago, he and his team were responsible for adapting national brand strategies and programs to the unique needs of the local midwestern markets.

Vince then moved into his first large scale operating role, managing marketing, sales, and operations for Pepsi’s fountain and vending business in the same midwestern region of the US. In this role he developed and launched the Pepsi Promise, which guaranteed foodservice operators soft drink sales growth, if they converted from Coke to Pepsi. The Midwest was Pepsi’s heartland, where the brand enjoyed a strong consumer-preference advantage over Coke. Vince used data and market research from a controlled store test to quantify the dollar value of serving Pepsi—the consumer’s preferred brand—over Coke. The test stores serving Pepsi yielded significantly higher softdrink sales, giving Vince and his team the conviction to launch the Pepsi Promise across the Midwest. This “guarantee” of growth led to unprecedented distribution growth in the number of restaurants and foodservice outlets that converted to Pepsi.

His success in managing Pepsi’s fountain and vending business regionally led to Vince’s first general management role as the head of the Heartland Business Unit, where he managed all aspects of a business which generated $1.2 billion in annual revenue. This included 4,500 employees, seven manufacturing plants, and 30 labor contracts. In his 5-year tenure in this role, he grew market share from 36% to 44%, while achieving top quartile revenue and profit growth and being named Pepsi’s Business Unit of the Year in 1995.

In his final role at Pepsi, Vince was name President of the Fountain Beverage Division for North America. His appointment coincided with PepsiCo’s decision to spin-off their ownership in restaurants—most notably Pizza Hut, Taco Bell, and KFC—which had inhibited their ability to compete in the fountain beverage business. PepsiCo’s decision to reinvest in the fountain business, gave Vince the license to transform Pepsi into a competitive force in foodservice beverages, which Coke had dominated for years at a national level. After a successful five-year run as head of this billion dollar organization, Vince made the decision to leave PepsiCo.

Public company CEO
Within a year of his departure from PepsiCo, Vince accepted the position of CEO and Board member of TurboChef, a company that was seeking to commercialize an innovative cooking technology. Vince viewed TurboChef’s high-speed cooking technology, which combined microwave with convection, as an opportunity to revolutionize commercial foodservice. Imagine a free-standing kiosk at an airport that could cook a medium rare steak to perfection in under two minutes. From its implications on fine-dining to fast food, the possibilities were endless. Vince and his team were able to secure a test with Subway sandwich chain, which would allow the fast food outlets to provide a warm, toasted sandwich to customers in seconds. The positive test market resulted in a full scale launch across the chain and ultimately the sale of TurboChef.

Early days at Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia
Upon earning his Bachelors degree in economics from Seton Hall University, Vince joined the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia’s economic research department. It was an ideal time to be at the Fed, as monetary policy was at the center of attention. It was an era of of sky-high interest rates and runaway inflation, driven in part by the middle eastern oil cartel.

Vince took advantage of this opportunity to engage in research on the US oil supply’s dependence on foreign sources and the implications for oil pricing. He also penned a breakthrough article titled Indexing Inflation: Remedy or Malady, discussing the complex topic in a highly accessible way. The article was often used as a teaching tool in economics courses at universities around the globe.

University of Chicago MBA
Following his tenure at the Fed, Vince moved to Chicago to attend the top-ranked University of Chicago Graduate School of Business (currently known as Chicago Booth). He earned his MBA with a concentration in finance, which led to his first post-MBA position as an economic consultant for Data Resources, Inc.

Vince Gennaro © 2023