Thousands of jobs are to be axed from PepsiCo after the soft drinks giant unveiled a new strategy designed to close the gap on arch rival Coca-Cola.

Some 8,700 jobs will go across the company, representing around 3% of its global workforce, as part of a bid to slash costs by $1.5bn over the next three years.

Vowing to focus on a dozen key brands including Mountain Dew and Doritos, as well as the flagship Pepsi brand, chief executive Indra Nooyi described the changes as a “major reset” for the company.

“Any time you make a mistake the buck stops with me,” she said, indicating that the company should have acted sooner to cut costs.

PepsiCo pledged to plough up to $600m into marketing its key brands over the coming year.

It announced an 11% rise in total sales over 2011 to $20.1bn, with profits up 3% to $1.4bn. But sales of carbonated drinks in its North American heartland dipped over the year.