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Blair Bennett, Senior Vice President, Global Talent Acquisition at PepsiCo Joins Integrated Talent Management Class

Dr. Steve Safier and Josh Bellis’ Integrated Talent Management class were privileged to host guest speaker, Blair Bennett, Senior Vice President, Global Talent Acquisition at PepsiCo. Blair visited our last Fall semester class and her vibrant, engaging talk highlighted so much of what we had discussed over the past few months – how PepsiCo, with over $70 Billion in revenues and with operations in over 200 countries, lives and communicates its values and culture to drive its business in a constantly changing world, and how it attracts and retains the people it needs to succeed.


Blair began by describing “The PepsiCo Way” - seven values championed by CEO Ramon Laguarta that describe PepsiCo’s culture.  The PepsiCo Way communicates to employees and prospective employees what is important about being a member of the PepsiCo community, and the kind of caring, innovative and growth-oriented treatment they can expect in return. This remarkable culture, Blair explained, is reinforced by the company’s “HR ecosystem,” informing programs such as Talent Acquisition, Onboarding, Engagement Surveys, Career Development, Total Rewards and others.

The PepsiCo Way

  • Act with integrity
  • Act as owners
  • Voice opinions fearlessly
  • Be consumer centric
  • Raise the bar on talent & diversity
  • Celebrate success
  • Focus & get things done fast

And PepsiCo doesn’t stop there! Blair also described the “GREAT5” –  a framework that helps prepare PepsiCo’s leaders for current and future challenges:

PepsiCo’s Great5 Leadership Framework

  • Growth
  • Relationships
  • Execution
  • Agility
  • Thinking

Especially now, Blair explained, with PepsiCo dealing like the rest of the world with COVID and other disruptions, with its ongoing digital transformation, and with its commitment to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, The PepsiCo Way and Great5 Leadership Framework enables the company to communicate its appeal to the many kinds of talent it needs to be successful.

And while we were on the subject of “talent” we asked Blair, as we do with all our guest lecturers, for career advice… after all, who better to ask for career advice than the Talent Acquisition leader of a global company such as PepsiCo? Her advice was so appreciated by our students:

  1. Be nice – though it sounds simple, be the kind of HR professional and leader that people want to be with and that helps people grow
  2. Be curious – No one “has it all figured out,”: especially these days. Be a listener and a learner.
  3. Desire the tough feedback – not only hear what you can do better; ask for it!
  4. Don’t chase the money when thinking about a job opportunity – there are so many other important aspects to look for, such as the company’s values, the people with whom you will work and what you can learn.
  5. Take some risks on yourself – be confident that you can grow and learn, and others will be more willing to take risks on you.

Thank you, Blair! Like PepsiCo’s mission to “Create more smiles for its customers with every sip and every bite,” you brought smiles to our students’ faces with your wisdom and generous advice!