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Head of Gatorade U.S. to Leave PepsiCo

CHICAGO - Susan D. Wellington, head of Gatorade's U.S. operations, is leaving just six months after PepsiCo Inc. acquired the brand's owner, Quaker Oats Co., the Chicago Tribune reports.

Wellington, 42, will take a leave of absence March 1 for personal reasons, PepsiCo said Wednesday. The company has named Charles I. Maniscalco, president of Quaker's snack business, as her replacement, although it has said it is leaving the door open for her return.

Wellington spent 20 years with Quaker and is credited with maintaining the growth of the Gatorade brand by introducing new flavors and packaging.

PepsiCo Inc. on Wednesday reported a 16 percent rise in fourth-quarter profits, but said shares fell on concerns archrival Coca-Cola Co. is muscling in on the Gatorade brand with its revamped Powerade brand. The company said first-quarter sales growth at its Gatorade and Tropicana North America unit could be soft and that the Gatorade line faced "intense competitive pressure."
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