Born in the small town of Chisholm to Italian immigrants, Mr. Enrico won a scholarship to Babson College in Massachusetts, studying business administration, before enlisting in the Navy. He served in Vietnam, whereas a lowly ensign he said he convinced an admiral to build a fuel pipeline instead of flying in supplies, only for the pipeline to be repeatedly blown up.
After a stint as assistant brand manager for Wheaties at General Mills Inc., Mr. Enrico joined chips-and-soda giant PepsiCo in 1971, initially helping market Funyans, an onion-flavored snack. He quickly was promoted to brand manager for Cheetos and then Fritos, before heading the company’s operations in Japan and then South America.
He made a bigger splash after becoming chief executive of Pepsi-Cola USA in 1983 at the age of 38. The same year he struck a multimillion-dollar marketing deal with pop sensation Mr. Jackson to become the face of the brand—and headline news in 1984 when the singer’s hair caught fire while filming a Pepsi TV commercial.
He also was known for seeking out opinions from PepsiCo plant workers, a practice inspired by his father, who complained bosses never took him up on his offers of free advice.
“Nobody has a monopoly on good ideas, especially the guy with the initials CEO,” Tod MacKenzie, a former PepsiCo corporate affairs manager, recalls Mr. Enrico telling him
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E.J. Smith is the Founder of YourSurvivalGuy.com, Managing Director at Richard C. Young & Co., Ltd., a Managing Editor of Richardcyoung.com, and Editor-in-Chief of Youngresearch.com. E.J. graduated from Babson College in Wellesley, Massachusetts, with a B.S. in finance and investments. In 1995, E.J. began his investment career at Fidelity Investments in Boston before joining Richard C. Young & Co., Ltd. in 1998. E.J. has trained at Sig Sauer Academy in Epping, NH, where he completed course-work in Practical and Defensive Handgun, Conceal Carry Pistol, Shotguns, Precision Scope Rifle and Kidnapping Prevention. E.J. plays a Yamaha Recording Custom drum set with Zilldjian cymbals. His first drum set was a 5-piece Slingerland with Zilldjians. He grew-up worshiping Neil Peart of the band Rush, and loves the song Tom Sawyer—the name of his family’s boat, a Grady-White Canyon 306. He grew up in Mattapoisett, MA, an idyllic small town on the water near Cape Cod. He spends time in Newport, RI and Bartlett, NH—both as far away from Wall Street as one could mentally get. The Newport office is on a quiet, tree lined street not far from the harbor and the log cabin in Bartlett, NH, the “Live Free or Die” state, sits on the edge of the White Mountain National Forest. He enjoys spending time in Key West and Paris. Please get in touch with E.J. at email@example.com. Sign up here to receive all the best content from Richardcyoung.com each week.