39. Pepsi Emerges As Coke’s Main Rival
Charles Guth turned Pepsi around within two years of buying it, and made it a profitable enterprise. By 1936, Pepsi was selling half a billion bottles a year – the second largest soda company, behind only Coca-Cola. It was right around then that Loft Inc. sued Guth, accusing him of breach of fiduciary duty, and took Pepsi from him in 1939.
Loft then concentrated on Pepsi, and spun off its non-soda businesses in 1941. The brand kept growing, and eventually merged with Frito Lay in 1965, to become PepsiCo. That new company went on to finally eclipse Coke in sales in the 1980s, and in 2005, PepsiCo surpassed the Coca-Cola Company in market value.