Reinemund, former PepsiCo CEO and chair, to lead Wake Forest's business schools
April 22, 2008
Steve Reinemund, the former PepsiCo chief executive officer and chairman who is widely praised as one of the nation's most innovative and respected business leaders, is bringing the values and business expertise he developed in his long career to Wake Forest University.
Wake Forest announced Reinemund as the new dean of its two business schools—the Calloway School of Business and Accountancy and the Babcock Graduate School of Management—on April 22. He will also be Professor of Leadership and Strategy.
Wake Forest leaders introduced Reinemund to the university community at an afternoon news conference on campus. Reinemund, who currently lives in Dallas, will take the helm of the schools July 1. He and Gail, his wife of 34 years, have four children. "I have long admired Wake Forest and am deeply honored to have this opportunity," Reinemund said. "This is an exciting time for the university, and I am looking forward to working with the faculty to lead the Wake Forest business schools into a new era."
Reinemund's appointment is a landmark in Wake Forest's history. Reinemund, who retired from PepsiCo in 2007, will be the first dean to head both of the university's business schools.
Wake Forest announced last September that it would realign the schools as part of the university's developing new strategic plan. The change, which calls for one rather than separate deans for each school, is aimed at capitalizing on the strengths of the schools, promoting collaboration in teaching and scholarship, and creating new opportunities to ensure that students receive the most comprehensive and forward-looking educational experience possible.
Wake Forest has been one of only a few national universities administering undergraduate and graduate business programs entirely separately. Deans Jack Wilkerson of the Calloway School and Ajay Patel of the Babcock School, both accomplished scholars and classroom professors, are returning full-time to the schools' faculties.
"How appropriate it is that Steve Reinemund will be leading our Calloway and Babcock schools as we embark on a business education initiative unlike anything in our past," Wake Forest President Nathan O. Hatch said. "During his extraordinary career, Steve has been recognized as an inspirational leader and mentor. I greatly value his creative thinking about the role corporations should play in the contemporary world."
Wake Forest Provost Jill Tiefenthaler, who chaired the search committee for the new dean, said Reinemund's exceptional talent for strategic thinking will further the university's goals for the business schools.
"We recognized in Steve, among other qualities, his superb ability to think and plan strategically for business and management education at Wake Forest," Tiefenthaler said. "We are confident he will lead the schools in capitalizing on their strengths, while promoting new and creative collaboration between them."
Barron's magazine twice named Reinemund (2005 and 2006) to its "World's Most Respected CEO List." BusinessWeek magazine twice included Reinemund (2002 and 2004) in its list of "Top 25 Managers." Other publications and organizations have recognized him similarly.
BusinessWeek honored Reinemund for "constant innovation and savvy moves" that took PepsiCo to new levels of success. The magazine declared that Reinemund's "greatest achievement is in developing people," noting that he personally mentored and taught staff and required that all in the company's senior ranks do the same.
Reinemund has been especially recognized for his success in bringing diversity to PepsiCo. At a Wake Forest conference in which he participated, "Why Work: Business, Professions and the Common Good," Reinemund recalled that diversity effort.
"The diversity journey for me was a very personal one as well as a professional one. ... We started with a vision—that vision is, that from the boardroom to the front line, we wanted the people who are PepsiCo to reflect the consumers we serve around the world," Reinemund said.
His efforts in support of diversity have prompted such awards as The Man Who Did the Most for Women Award from the National Council for Research on Women, the National Equal Justice Award from the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, and the President's Award from the National Council of La Raza. Upon Reinemund's retirement, PepsiCo established the Reinemund Diversity and Inclusion Legacy Award to recognize individuals within the company who demonstrate consistent, significant contributions toward fostering diversity and inclusion at PepsiCo and in the community.
Reinemund devoted 23 years of his business career to PepsiCo. He led PepsiCo as chairman and CEO from 2001 to 2006. He remained as chairman until 2007. He had been PepsiCo president and chief operating officer previously and also had served as CEO of Frito-Lay's worldwide operations. He started his PepsiCo career at the Pizza Hut division (now part of another company), serving as CEO.
Currently, he is a member of the board of directors of American Express, Marriott, and ExxonMobil.
Reinemund is a graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy. He received a Master of Business Administration degree at the Darden Graduate School of Business Administration at the University of Virginia.
He served five years as an officer in the U.S. Marine Corps, achieving the rank of captain.
Reinemund currently serves as a trustee of the United States Naval Academy Foundation. Previous community service includes chairing the National Minority Supplier Development Council, the National Advisory Board of The Salvation Army, and the Corporate Board of Advisors of the National Council of La Raza.