Reuters: Disney and Pepsi

November 6, 2023

Running Point and its chief investment officer, Michael Ashley Schulman, CFA, were asked by Reuters this morning for commentary on, 1) Pepsi’s CFO stepping down for a role at Disney, and 2) How we see Hugh Johnston’s experience at Pepsi helping Disney at this time with the stock in 5-year low territory.

The article, “Disney taps PepsiCo veteran Johnston as CFO,” has appeared in Reuters, U.S. News & World Report, MSNBC, Boursorama (France), The Business Times (Singapore), Yahoo Finance, Sina (China), and other media outlets.

CFO moves—Where is the fizz?

This is a solid positive for The Walt Disney Company which needs the financial help, and a mild surprise for PepsiCo, but not a serious negative for the beverage stock. During his long tenure at the company, Hugh Johnston developed solid processes and a deep bench of talent, thus expect Pepsi’s financial system to continue to operate smoothly and James (Jamie) Canfield to make a smooth transition into his new Pepsi CFO role.

Johnston’s long formative leadership, operational, and financial experience at Pepsi should aid Disney as it tries to turn around its future prospects, finances acquisitions like the buyout of Comcast’s stake in Hulu, and profitably control the spend at Disney+. Johnston’s clout cold also be hugely beneficial to CEO Bob Iger as he seeks to transform Disney with acquisitions and strategic sales, especially across their TV and streaming businesses which have been a financial thorn the last few years.

Quoted article excerpts are below:

“(Johnston’s appointment) is a solid positive for Disney, which needs the financial help,” said Michael Ashley Schulman, chief investment officer at Running Point Capital Advisor.

In Mandarin: 对此,Running Point Capital Advisor首席投资官Michael Ashley Schulman表示,” (Johnston的任命)对需要财务帮助的迪士尼来说是一个坚实的利好消息。”

Pepsi and Disney
Disney and Pepsi, CFO Fizz —Graphic collage by

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