Pepsi CEO Indra Nooyi is stepping down

Daniel Fowler
August 6, 2018

She also described "mixed emotions" about leaving the role.

The 62-year-old India-born executive has spent 24 years at PepsiCo. Nooyi will remain as chairwoman until early next year. The company announced that its Board of Directors has unanimously elected Ramon Laguarta to succeed Nooyi as Chief Executive Officer. The company's share price has risen 78 per cent in the same period. Among PepsiCo's brands are Mountain Dew, Tropicana, Gatorade and Quaker Oats. "She has delivered strong and consistent financial performance, managing with an eye toward not only the short-run, but the long-run as well".

Fortune credits Nooyi with moving PepsiCo's portfolio towards healthier fare: and PepsiCo has grown its portfolio of "Good for You" and "Better for You" options from about 38% of revenue in 2006 to roughly 50% in 2017.

"Indra has provided outstanding leadership over the past 12 years, serving as a model both within our industry and beyond for responsible corporate stewardship in the 21st century", said presiding director Ian Cook.

She also declined to spin off PepsiCo's beverage business from its Frito-Lay snacks business in 2014, despite an activist investor's urging and the fact that the company's beverage sales were struggling in North America, AP reported.

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"Leading PepsiCo has truly been the honour of my lifetime, and I'm incredibly proud of all we have done over the past 12 years to advance the interests not only of shareholders, but all our stakeholders in the communities we serve", Indra said.

Nooyi, who was born in India, is the first foreign-born CEO of PepsiCo and the first woman to lead the multinational food and beverage corporation, whose revenue topped $63 billion previous year, according to Bloomberg. Ramon Laguarta, a 22-year PepsiCo veteran who was promoted to president last year, will take over as the CEO, the company said.

Laguarta has previously served in leadership positions in PepsiCo's European and sub-Saharan Africa divisions.

Nooyi plans to stay on as chairman until early 2019.

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