PURCHASE, N.Y. – Saad Abdul-Latif, chief executive officer of PepsiCo Asia, Middle East and Africa (AMEA), died suddenly, Indra K. Nooyi, chairman and c.e.o. of Purchase-based PepsiCo, said Aug. 19.

“Saad was much more than a business leader,” Ms. Nooyi said. “He was a deep personal friend to so many PepsiCo family members in every corner of the globe. The thoughts and prayers of PepsiCo associates are with Saad and his family during this difficult time.”

Umran Beba will serve as acting sector head for PepsiCo AMEA until a permanent replacement is chosen, Ms. Nooyi said. Ms. Beba also will continue as senior vice-president and chief human resources officer for PepsiCo AMEA.

Mr. Abdul-Latif joined PepsiCo in 1982 and previously was general manager for PepsiCo beverages in the Middle East, North Africa and Pakistan; area vice-president for the Saudi Arabia and Gulf region; vice-president for Frito-Lay Middle East and general manager for the Middle East region. He was named c.e.o. for PepsiCo AMEA in September 2008.

Mr. Abdul-Latif founded PepsiCo’s Tomooh education program, which provides financial support to Arab youth wanting to pursue university level education. The United Nations’ World Food Program is a partner. Mr. Abdul-Latif sat on the board of PlaNet Finance, an organization that fights poverty through the development of microfinance.

He had a master’s degree in international management from the Thunderbird School of Global Management in Glendale, Ariz., and a bachelor’s of arts degree in public administration from the American University of Beirut.