Directed by Eva Longoria, Hulu’s ‘Flamin’ Hot’ follows Richard Montañez, who starts from the bottom to occupy one of the top positions in the company. The inspirational story shows the ups and downs in his life as he overcomes one hurdle after another to turn his life around. An essential part of his story is Roger Enrico, the company’s CEO, whose words impact Montañez, encouraging him to take charge of his life. Even though Montañez is a janitor and Enrico is the CEO, the latter doesn’t undervalue his vision and ideas that propel the company towards unprecedented profit. If you want to know more about the former CEO of PepsiCo, we’ve got you covered.
Who was Roger Enrico?
Roger Enrico was born in Chisholm, Minnesota, on November 11, 1944. His father worked as a foreman at an iron-ore processing plant. When Enrico was a teenager, he washed bottles and affixed labels at a bottling plant and sold pots and pans door to door. In 1965, he graduated from Babson College in Wellesley, Massachusetts. After briefly working at General Mills, he joined the Navy.
— The Coca-Cola Co. (@CocaColaCo) June 3, 2016
After his time in the war, Enrico joined Frito-Lay as a Brand Manager in 1971. Later, he headed PepsiCo’s regional operations in Japan and South America before becoming the Chief Executive of Pepsi-Cola USA in 1983. Here, he signed multimillion-dollar deals with stars like Michael Jackson and Madonna to have them endorse Pepsi, which was a massive boost to the brand amid the Cola wars with Coca-Cola. Such was the success of Enrico’s venture that Coca-Cola recalibrated its formula, leading to a backlash from its consumers. He detailed the entire thing in ‘The Other Guy Blinked: How Pepsi Won the Cola Wars,’ which he co-wrote with Jesse Kornbluth.
In 1996, Enrico became the CEO and Chairman of PepsiCo. He is also credited with working on the restaurant division, including Taco Bell, Pizza Hut, and KFC. In addition, Enrico oversaw the acquisition of Tropicana in 1998 and Quaker Oats in 2000. After he retired from PepsiCo in 2001, he served as the Chairman of DreamWorks Animation from 2004 to 2012. Enrico was also on the board of directors for The National Geographic Society, the Environmental Defense Fund, and the American Film Institute.
How Did Roger Enrico Die?
Our revered former leader, Roger Enrico, has passed away. He leaves a legacy of great leadership & creativity. pic.twitter.com/d6KcIY13hP
— PepsiCo (@PepsiCo) June 2, 2016
Roger Enrico died on June 1, 2016, at 71, while snorkeling in the Cayman Islands. He was married to Rosemary Margo, with whom he had a son, Aaron. Enrico was described as “the true legend of the company [PepsiCo] and the industry” by then-PepsiCo CEO and chairwoman Indra Nooyi. He was called an “inspirational leader” who “challenged us all to compete harder and think bigger.”
While Enrico served in top positions in several companies, he always thought about the low-income employees whom he considered the “unsung heroes” of any organization. To show his appreciation for their work, he gave up his salary in the year 1998. He asked the board to cut his salary and use the savings “to benefit front-line employees.” PepsiCo used the one million that Enrico received in his paycheck to create a “scholarship program for children of full-time Pepsico employees making under $60,000 a year.” He continued to look out for the interests of the employees when he moved to DreamWorks Animation and was known for donating most of his salary for their upliftment.