Home » Who is Lindell Forsythe?(‘I didn’t conform to the clean-cut black man.’ Award-winning Pepsi sales rep sends blistering resignation letter to soda giant claiming he was marginalized because at 270 pounds, 6’4′) Wiki, Bio, Age, Instagram, Twitter & Quick Facts
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Who is Lindell Forsythe?(‘I didn’t conform to the clean-cut black man.’ Award-winning Pepsi sales rep sends blistering resignation letter to soda giant claiming he was marginalized because at 270 pounds, 6’4′) Wiki, Bio, Age, Instagram, Twitter & Quick Facts

Lindell Forsythe

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Who is Lindell Forsythe ?

A black PepsiCo employee has accused the food and beverage giant of perpetuating a culture of systemic racism in the workplace by only accepting black staff who “fit the right box” and “look a certain way.”

Sales representative Lindell Forsythe, 40, wrote a tough letter of resignation to the company’s chief executive, Ramon Laguarta, last week, citing discrimination as the reason behind his decision to leave his position at the PepsiCo facility. in South Carolina after 14 years.

In the four-page memo, Forsythe, who has won multiple corporate awards for his sales achievements at the company over the years, claimed that he was nevertheless always able to climb the ranks because he was a 6-foot-4 African-American. and 270 pounds with dreadlocks. and tattoos.’

The former employee also accused the multinational corporation, with brands such as Pepsi, Gatorade, Doritos and Cheetos, of taking his idea for a successful Mountain Dew campaign and not giving him any credit for it.

In addition, he alleges that a PepsiCo executive rejected his suggestion of a Pepsi campaign with historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) because it would potentially ‘isolate’ ‘predominantly white institutions (PWIs)’. English)’.

Career

Speaking to DailyMail.com in an exclusive interview after his departure, Forsythe said he believes his career at PepsiCo stalled simply because his appearance doesn’t fit the type of ‘clean’ black person the corporation wants to employ, regardless of his talent. .

“PepsiCo claims to be embracing black people, but really for that person to be successful, he has to be the exact image of what the company wants a black person to be and look like,” he said.

‘I definitely think I was not treated well as a black man, but not only as a black man, but because of how I looked as a black man. I didn’t fit in his box.

He continued: ‘They regularly send out emails about people who have been promoted, many of them black. But none of these black men look like me. They all have this very clean cut image.

Murder

After the murder of George Floyd in 2020, the company’s boss, Laguarta, 58, announced the launch of a “set of initiatives of more than $400 million over five years to lift up black communities and increase black representation in PepsiCo.”

Laguarta, who was named CEO in 2018 and has been with PepsiCo for 26 years, added on the company’s website: “My parents raised me to believe that all people are equal, that diversity is a reflection of our humanity. common. This is true both in business and in society in general.’

However, Forsythe suggested the company reneged on his promise after saying he initially believed PepsiCo was a place where he could build a career and eventually retire.

He continues, “I realized there was even diversity in the senior leadership…we had a black president on the beverage side.”

But Forsythe adds: ‘From my experience, talking about diversity has its limits.

All of our black colleagues must fit in one box. We cannot be stubborn because of the risk of being negatively labeled. We cannot have a certain appearance. Having locks (dreadlocks) or any ethnocentric expression can cause you to be categorized and marginalized.

‘Finally, know that you are here to do what the company asks, no questions asked. We as a group of people (black employees) easily justify this act because we have always been taught to survive.

“We protect our livelihood at all costs, even if it means accepting some things that we know are not right. If we ignore everything we see and conform completely, we can stay on top.

The father of four joined Pepsi as a driver in 2008 and eventually worked his way up to senior sales representative in 2015, working out of the company’s facility in Jedburg, South Carolina.

He was inducted into the PepsiCo Chairman’s Circle of Champions, a global honor, in 2014, and regularly received top regional sales awards after becoming a rep for taking low-income patches and turning them into top earners.

But it was his ambition to create more for the company that led him to come up with a patriotic marketing plan for PepsiCo’s popular Mountain Dew soft drink in 2013, when he was still a driver.

He continued: ‘I said no, we didn’t. I gave you that idea in 2013. Then he said to me: ‘What is your goal? What are you trying to accomplish with this?’ And that’s when I explained to her that she wanted to be in marketing.

“But the main thing was that I felt as a whole that the black community was not represented. Not all blacks were accepted at PepsiCo. If you look a certain way, they’ll let you in.

‘Most of us don’t make it out of where we come from. And PepsiCo made it seem like it was a second chance for us. But it really is not. They will only allow you to get to a certain point. That’s it.’

Forsythe, a father of three daughters ages 20, 13 and eight, and a 12-year-old son, also claims his 2019 proposal for PepsiCo to help HBCUs was dismissively rejected.

He told Laguarta in his letter that he was ‘surprised when one of the top human resources staff members asked me ‘How do you think the PWIs would feel? We don’t want anyone to feel isolated.’

His plan was to try to get Jay-Z and his label Roc Nation involved after seeing the rapper’s wife, Beyoncé, at homecoming events at HBCU colleges, he told DailyMail.com.

‘I suggested why don’t we go to Roc Nation and put together a plan together with these HBCUs under the Pepsi umbrella. Delivering products but at the same time helping them, like we help other schools,’ he added.

‘And the answer to that was they didn’t think it was a good idea because how would the PWIs feel? I was blown away because I knew there are a lot of schools that Pepsi is in now that aren’t HBCUs.

‘That’s how I took it. Why did that matter?

‘That’s how I took it. Why did that matter? We had talked before and that was not the problem, so why do you want to see how I look? It was just a confirmation of that, that it didn’t fit.

Forsythe says in his letter to Laguarta, whose total earnings for 2021 were $21,486,982, that he was hospitalized three times due to stress and missed the birth of two of his children due to work.

“For years I was dealing with discrimination, retaliation, harassment, stress, fear, anxiety and pain,” he said. ‘One may ask: why deal with it?

I did what I felt was the only thing I could do as a black man in this situation. I worked even harder at all costs.

PepsiCo has 23 food and beverage brands, including Pepsi Mountain Dew, Lay’s potato chips, Gatorade and Cheetos.

It is the second largest food and beverage company in the world, after Nestlé, with annual net revenues of $70 billion.

Senior Director of Marketing Kourtney Moody, who is black, responded to Forsythe’s letter, saying, ‘Thank you for raising his concerns. PepsiCo takes these concerns very seriously and they have been referred to our ethics and compliance department.”

Forsythe now plans to get back on the road, with his own trucking company. “I can’t go through what I’ve been through again,” he said.

‘I’m going to work for myself, and I’m going to make this a success.’

Lindell Forsythe Quick and Facts

  • Lindell Forsythe, 40, of Summerville, South Carolina, spoke to DailyMail.com about his decision to resign from PepsiCo last week after 14 years
  • The sales rep penned a scathing resignation letter to company CEO Ramon Laguarta, citing discrimination as the reason behind his departure
  • ‘From my experience, the talk of diversity has its limits. Our black colleagues must all fit into a box …We can’t have a certain appearance,’ he wrote 
  • In 2020 Laguarta announced PepsiCo was pledging more than $400million over five years ‘to lift up Black communities and increase Black representation’ 
  • But Forsythe believes his career at PepsiCo was stalled simply because he does not look like the ‘clean cut’ black person the corporation wants to employ
  • ‘I definitely believe they didn’t treat me right … not just as a black man, but because of what I look like as a black man. I didn’t fit their box,’ he said  
  • The father of four worked his way up to a sales rep after starting as a driver – and won numerous corporate employee awards for his achievements 
  • The company also used his idea for a 2013 Mountain Dew marketing campaign, but never gave him any recognition, he claimed

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