August 20, 2020, 07.17 PM

GENEVA, KOMPAS.com – Director-General of the WTO Roberto Azevedo is leaving his post a year early to join US soft drink and snacks giant, PepsiCo.

The head of the World Trade Organization will officially step down on August 31 after a seven-year tenure.

By joining PepsiCo, Roberto will serve as the company’s Executive Vice President and Chief Corporate Affairs Officer.

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He will start his new role a day after leaving the crisis-stricken institution.

The company said the role had been created for the Brazilian career diplomat who will work on "solidifying PepsiCo's external engagement efforts with national and international (authorities), regulators, international organizations and non-governmental stakeholders."

Azevedo, PepsiCo chief Ramon Laguarta said, would bring "valuable political skills and technical knowledge of the complex social, political, and regulatory environments" impacting the company.

The departing World Trade Organization chief, who was educated as an engineer, said in the statement that he was "delighted to join PepsiCo at a time when strengthening relationships between business, government and society has become essential to generating sustainable and inclusive long-term growth".

Read also: TPP Members Tackle Protectionism to Prevent Food and Medicine Shortages

Azevedo, who made the surprise announcement in May that he would end his second WTO term 12 months early, for "personal reasons", is leaving the organization engulfed in multiple crises.

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