Roger Enrico, former chairman of DreamWorks Animation, died today. He was 71 years old.
According to The New York Times, Enrico died suddenly while on vacation in the Cayman Islands, where is known to have had a residence. His cause of death is currently unknown.
Enrico was longtime CEO of PepsiCo through the 1980s, where he was credited with nearly upending Coke’s supremacy in the cola category by signing sponsorship deals with Michael Jackson, Madonna and Michael J. Fox.
He also co-authored a book titled “The Other Guy Blinked — How Pepsi Won the Cola Wars,” that details the feud between the world’s two biggest soda companies.
“He was a risk-taker, never afraid to challenge the status quo or make bold moves to get ahead,” said Indra Nooyi, PepsiCo CEO and Chairman, in a statement.
After retiring from PepsiCo in 2001, Enrico was courted by DreamWorks Animation CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg to chair the studio through its initial public offering in 2004. He resigned in 2012.
Katzenberg weighed in on his loss:
The entire DreamWorks family is deeply saddened by the loss of our former Chairman, Roger Enrico. Roger was a leader in every sense of the word, owning a rare combination of courage, tenacity, compassion and creativity. His career at PepsiCo is the stuff of legends, and as our Chairman he was an invaluable voice during a pivotal time in the growth and evolution of our company. I am eternally grateful for his leadership, his counsel and, most of all, his friendship. He will be sorely missed by us all. - Jeffrey Katzenberg, CEO, DreamWorks Animation
Enrico was born on November 11, 1944 in Chisholm, Minnesota and earned his Bachelor’s degree from Babson College in Massachusetts.
He leaves behind a wife and one child.