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0 Sep 23 2010 @ 9:12am by Matt Smith in Crude Oil, energy consulting, Global Energy, risk management, Risk Strategy

PepsiCo Pro Talks Energy Over Chips and Salsa

I had the pleasure of meeting Mike Miller of PepsiCo earlier this year at the grand opening of our London office, and he was both an interesting and highly entertaining character. So when I decided to interview someone for the burrito, my first choice of interviewee was an easy decision. So Mike good-humoredly provided answers to some random questions I threw at him this week:

1) What is your current role at PepsiCo and what was your journey to get there?

Sr. Group Manager, Energy Risk. I have been in the energy industry since 1997, starting out as an engineering computer drawing specialist with Kansas City Power and Light. I then got into customer service of the largest 1000 tier 2 customers, followed by an Account Representative for the largest industrial customers in the service territory. I then went onto positions at Utilicorp and TXU in an energy management role for both companies. After both companies ceased their energy management services operations I ended up at PepsiCo.

2) What has been the biggest change you have seen since joining PepsiCo?

Risk management has changed everywhere based on more stringent controls. These changes have made my role more challenging.

3) If you could have a super-power what would it be?

I think it would be cool to be able to fly.

4) What is your favorite aspect of your job?

The challenging, never dull, environment at PepsiCo. I work in an area of many type A personalities and I realize that I would not be satisfied at any workplace that did not have this characteristic.

5) From your perspective, what is going to be the biggest challenge in the energy world over the next decade?

Moving away from the use of crude oil and products – globally. The world’s economic growth engine is powered by middle distillates and there do not appear to be ample substitutes that will be able to offset the global population growth, coupled with the economic surges of emerging countries such as China, India and Brazil.     

A cure for the blues.

6) When we met earlier in the year, you spoke of your love of 1920s and 1930s blues, and how you’d even studied it at evening classes. What song would be the soundtrack to one of your better days at work?

Blind Lemon Jefferson – Father of the Texas Blues – Song: Got the Blues.

 7) Sustainability is a key aspect of your business; do you believe your focus has shifted towards being more sustainable at the expense of price risk management, or are the two concepts mutually exclusive at PepsiCo?

PepsiCo has a very strong world class sustainability program. My group mostly focuses on price risk and energy management for the physical and financial exposures within PepsiCo. I do not believe there has been a negative effect from the sustainability program on our ability to manage price risk.

8) Your day has just taken a turn for the worse. What song would now be the soundtrack to your day?

I would have to turn to some sort of heavy – alternative rock like Linkin Park.

9) What’s your favorite commodity, and why?

Crude Oil – because it is a global commodity and it is more challenging to analyze on a fundamental basis than natural gas, since it is more of a regional commodity.

10) I understand you used to be a trader, and still use technical analysis in your current role. Technical analysis is great, isn’t it?

Technical analysis is useful for indentifying short term trends which can be advantageous for trading or forecasting activities within the next couple months. I spend much more of my time on fundamental analysis since it provides more viable information for the longer term.

11) What’s your favorite candy bar, and why?

Reeses Peanut butter cup. I grew up on peanut butter sandwiches when I was a kid.

12) Do you have a motto or a key phrase which resonates with you?

Rock on!

Thanks so much, Mike, for the insights. Rock on indeed!

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