The Real Pepsi Challenge: The Inspirational Story of Breaking the Color Barrier in American Business Hardcover – 1 Mar 2006
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"When you go to work anywhere in Corporate America, you'd better understand that this is no longer the white America of the 1950s. You will fail if you approach it that way. And if you open your eyes and address the rest of our multicultural society, you will succeed. This book shows you why you'd better get on your multicultural game as evidenced by the amazing success of African-Americans who breached the color wall at Pepsi and what it meant for them, for Pepsi, and for America. It is an amazing and inspiring story. This is mandatory reading for those about to embark into the corporate world."-- Jim Cramer, markets commentator, thestreet.com, and host of CNBC's "Mad Money with Jim Cramer"
About the Author
Stephanie Capparell is the author of Shackleton's Way: Leadership Lessons from the Great Antarctic Explorer. She has worked at The Wall Street Journal since 1990 and is currently an editor for that paper's Marketplace page. She holds --This text refers to the Paperback edition.
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Stephanie Capparell's book, "The Real Pepsi Challenge" is terrific in many ways. She highlights the years circa 1947-1951 when Pepsi president Walter Mack, liberal and determined, set about to put together a team of black Americans to appeal to the burgeoning buying power of a group of people who represented a percentage of Americans equal to the entire Canadian population. Capparell then goes on not only to highlight the chief operating force for a team of twelve under the direction of the talented Edward F. Boyd but how they managed to be successful at a time when Jim Crow laws were still in effect and Jackie Robinson was just emerging. These men, talented, educated and from a variety of backgrounds, perfectly captured by the author, moved Pepsi-Cola within striking distance of rival Coca-Cola. It's an American success story at its best.
The thrust of "The Real Pepsi Challenge" concerns those post-war years and Capparell is at her best when she mirrors the times and the difficulties the team had in going out in the field. Given the times, her references to advertising and societal concerns are eye-popping. Subsequently, she gives a follow-up as to the new owner's decision to disband the group, and what happened to them after some of them left Pepsi, but others stayed.
"The Real Pepsi Challenge" is a highly recommended book. The author has done a great job in putting together the recollections of those who worked for Pepsi and how they connected with the era in which they lived. Congratulations, Ms. Capparell!
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