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The Pepsi Bottling Group Inc. (PBG) plans to expand its sales force over the next year, Chairman and Chief Executive Eric Foss said Tuesday.
"As we go into 2010, we're looking to ramp up feet on the street," Foss said on the sidelines at the WSJ CEO Council.
Foss becomes the latest corporate head to signal an interest in hiring front-line sales people making pushes to get their products on retailers' shelves. The foodservice company Sysco Corp. (SYY) recently said that it was hiring back sales representatives, and ConAgra Foods Inc. (CAG) chief executive on Monday said it would beef up its sales team.
Foss would not disclose specific hiring plans.
Pepsi Bottling is also rethinking its "price-packaging" architecture, offering cans of soda in eight- and 18-pack denominations, as oppose to its standard 12- and 24-pack offerings. That offers another level of price points, and "more consumer value," Foss said.
Pepsi Bottling is in the midst of being rolled into Pepsico Inc. (PEP), which is buying two of its largest bottlers in a $7.8 billion deal. Foss will lead the combined bottling unit when the deal closes sometime early next year.
Foss was among scores of chief executives attending the annual WSJ CEO Council meeting Monday and Tuesday in the nation's capital to discuss business and political issues, and meet with top policymakers. Participants scheduled to attend include White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel; Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius; and Council of Economic Adviser Chair Christina Romer.
-By Paul Ziobro, Dow Jones Newswires; 201-938-2046; firstname.lastname@example.org