PURCHASE, N.Y. — Zein Abdalla, who was named president of PepsiCo, Inc. a little more than two years ago, has notified the company of his decision to retire, effective Dec. 31, 2014.

The retirement of Mr. Abdalla, 56, marks the second departure of a senior executive in recent months. In July, Brian Cornell, who oversaw PepsiCo’s global foods business and was seen as a possible successor to chief executive officer Indra Nooyi, took the top job at Target Corp. Another prominent executive, Debra Crew, head of Pepsi's North America nutrition division, departed in September for R.J. Reynolds.

Mr. Abdalla joined PepsiCo in 1995, working mostly overseas. He was the head of Pepsi’s European division when he was named president in 2012. Prior to PepsiCo, he worked for Mars Inc. in engineering and manufacturing roles, as well as in sales, marketing, human resources and general management.