PepsiCo elects Trian Fund partner to board

PepsiCo said it had elected William Johnson, an advisory partner at Trian Fund Management, to its board, following a recent push by Trian to split the company.

Johnson, a former chairman and chief executive of H.J. Heinz, will join the board effective March 23, and he will also be included in the slate of nominees for election to the board at the company's 2015 annual shareholders' meeting, PepsiCo said.

Pepsi Cola billboard on Long Island City in New York.
Adam Jeffery | CNBC
Pepsi Cola billboard on Long Island City in New York.

Trian, which is led by Nelson Peltz, held 1.19 percent stake in PepsiCo as of Dec. 31, according to Thomson Reuters data.

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Peltz has urged PepsiCo to split its more successful snack division from its beverage business, arguing that the move would reduce costs and unlock value for shareholders. PepsiCo's chief executive Indra Nooyi has said that the company's current strategy is working.

In July, Peltz said a proxy fight was a possibility. Johnson's election to the board marks a settlement between Pepsi and Trian.

In a statement Friday afternoon, Peltz said, "We support Indra's commitment to operational excellence, which has resulted in improved performance of the company. We are confident that Bill will be a strong and complementary addition to the PepsiCo Board.''

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PepsiCo shares were down about 1 percent in after-hours trading on Friday.