Updated from 7:40 a.m. EDT

Beverage and snack giant

PepsiCo

(PEP) - Get Report

said Wednesday that its chairman and chief executive officer, Roger Enrico, would step down next year.

The company also designated Steve Reinemund, currently Pepsi's president and chief operating officer, to replace Enrico, who plans to vacate the CEO position before the end of 2001 and retire from the chairman's post by the end of 2002.

"When I was elected CEO I said I hoped to have the perseverance to stay long enough to get the job done and the wisdom to not remain too long," Enrico said in a statement. "By the end of 2001, I will have been a part of the PepsiCo team for 30 terrific years. I'm sure it will be surprising to very few people that I now feel it is time to move on to creating a new chapter in my life."

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Enrico's announcement is the latest step in a transition process that began over a year ago with Reinemund's appointment as president.

Enrico was named chief executive in April of 1996 and chairman in November of that year. He joined Pepsi in 1971 as an assistant product manager in the Frito-Lay division. Reinemund has served as the top executive at Frito-Lay Worldwide and Pepsi's former Pizza Hut division.

In a separate announcement Wednesday, Pepsi said its third-quarter earnings topped Wall Street estimates by a penny on the heels of strong volume growth in Frito-Lay and Tropicana.

The company's earnings per share rose 17%, to 40 cents a share compared with 36 cents in the same period a year ago. Analysts surveyed by

First Call/Thomson Financial

expected the Purchase, N.Y.-based company to report earnings per share of 39 cents.

Revenue grew 7% to $4.9 billion, while operating profit climbed 12% to $826 million.

PepsiCo finished Wednesday regular trading down 88 cents, or 2%, at $45.13.