Indra Nooyi to step down as Pepsico CEO

Pepsico CEO Indra Nooyi will step down from her position in October, after helming the post for the last 12 years. She will, however, continue to serve as the Chairman of the company till early 2019. Pepsico veteran, Ramon Laguarta will succeed Nooyi as the new CEO of the company.

Indra Nooyi to step down as Pepsico CEO
Indra Nooyi to step down as Pepsico CEO

Pepsico CEO Indra Nooyi will step down from the position on October 3, 2018, after helming the post for the last 12 years. The announcement was made by Pepsico on August 6, 2018.

Ramon Laguarta, who has worked with Pepsico for over 22 years, will be succeeding Nooyi. The 54-year-old was unanimously elected to the position by PepsiCo's Board of Directors. He will become the sixth CEO of the company in its 53-year old history.

While Nooyi will step down as CEO of food and beverage giant PepsiCo in October, she will continue to serve as the Chairman of the company till early 2019.

The Firsts

Nooyi, who is from India, is the first foreign-born CEO of Pepsi.

She is also the first woman to lead the food and beverage giant, whose revenue topped $63 billion in 2017.

She was also among the few female executives to lead global corporate giants.

She also created history by being among the few India-born females to lead a global giant.

About Indra Nooyi

 Indra Nooyi to step down as Pepsico CEO after 12 years Nooyi was born on October 28, 1955, to family based in Chennai, Tamil Nadu.

She completed her MBA from Indian Institute of Management Calcutta in 1976 and attended Yale School of Management in 1978 and earned a master's degree in Public and Private Management.

Nooyi’s career began with product manager positions at Johnson & Johnson and textile firm Mettur Beardsell.

After graduating from Yale in 1980, she joined the Boston Consulting Group (BCG) and then held strategy positions at Motorola and Asea Brown Boveri.

Nooyi joined PepsiCo in 1994 as head of corporate strategy and was elected to Pepsi’s board of directors and named President and CFO of the company in 2001, after serving as Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer since 2000.

Nooyi had also served as PepsiCo's Senior Vice President, Corporate Strategy and Development from 1996 until 2000 and Senior Vice President, Strategic Planning from 1994 until 1996.

She was named CEO of the company in 2006, replacing Steven Reinemund, becoming PepsiCo's fifth chief executive in its 41-year history.  She assumed the role of Chairman of the Board of Directors in 2007.

At the time only a handful of women ran major US companies, and there are still fewer than 30 female CEOs. She was also among the first of a handful of India-born executives to lead global corporates.

Other prominent Indians to hold similar positions include MasterCard's President Ajay Banga, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella and Google CEO Sundar Pichai, all of whom were named to the top jobs in the years that followed.

Besides serving on the board of Pepsico, Nooyi served on the boards of several non-profit organisations including the US-India Business Council, the Consumer Goods Forum, Catalyst, Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, Tsinghua University School of Economics and Management, the World Economic Forum and the Asia Society.

In February 2018, the International Cricket Council announced that Nooyi would join the ICC Board as its first independent female director.

Pepsico under Nooyi

In her 24 years at Pepsi, including 12 as CEO, Nooyi directed the company’s global strategy for more than a decade and led its restructuring, including the 1997 divestiture of Tricon and addition of major brands including Cheetos and Mountain Dew.

Nooyi also took the lead in the major acquisition of Tropicana in 1998 and the merger with Quaker Oats Company in 2001, which brought Gatorade brand under Pepsi Co’s portfolio.

Since she started as CFO in 2001, the company's annual net profit rose from $2.7 billion to $6.5 billion. During her tenure, the company's shares also rose to 78 per cent.

She reclassified PepsiCo's products into three categories:

‘Fun for you’: Potato chips and regular soda

‘Better for you’: Diet or low-fat versions of snacks and sodas

‘Good for you’: Items such as oatmeal

She moved corporate spending away from junk foods and into the healthier alternatives, with the aim of improving the healthiness of even the ‘fun’ offerings.

Her departure thins the ranks of female CEOs and comes at a time when Pepsi's North American beverage unit is stagnating amid a general decline in soda consumption.

Awards and Recognitions

Nooyi was named on Wall Street Journal's list of 50 women to watch in 2007 and 2008 and was listed among Time's 100 Most Influential People in the World in 2007 and 2008.

She was named as the 3rd Most Powerful Woman in Business by Forbes in 2008 and was ranked 13th in 2014.

She was ranked the most powerful woman in Business in 2009 and 2010 by Fortune.

She was ranked the 6th most powerful woman in the world in October 2010 by Fortune and the 2nd most powerful in 2015. Indra Nooyi to step down as Pepsico CEO after 12 years

In 2008, Nooyi was named one of America's Best Leaders by US News & World Report.

In the same year, she was elected to the Fellowship of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and was elected Chairwomen of the US-India Business Council (USIBC).

In 2007, she was awarded the Padma Bhushan by the Government of India.


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