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PepsiCo's Indra Nooyi latest high-profile female CEO to exit

07 August, 2018, 18:37 | Author: Shawna Walton
  • PepsiCo's Indra Nooyi to step down as CEO

After 12 years at the helm, Pepsico's Indian-origin Chief Executive Officer Indra Krishnamurthy Nooyi has made a decision to step down, the company announced on Monday. PepsiCo on Monday said that Nooyi will step down as CEO of the company, effective 3 October.

PepsiCo CEO Indra Nooyi, 62, announced August 6 that she is stepping down.

PepsiCo has realized total shareholder return of 149% since Nooyi became CEO in October 2006, versus 197% at Coca-Cola and 173% for the S&P 500 index, according to FactSet data cited by The Wall Street Journal.

Even as Nooyi has stressed these long-term targets, she has been unapologetic in touting the company's products, which include snacks under the Frito-Lay banner such as Dorito corn chips and salsa, in addition to sugary carbonated drinks such as Pepsi cola and Mountain Dew. She drove the company a dozen years through a changing landscape.

The strategy to transform PepsiCo's portfolio came three years after she took charge.

Often choosing to wear the traditional sari at corporate events, Ms Nooyi is proud of her Indian background, once saying: "Although I'm a daughter of India, I'm an American businesswoman".

Pepsico's long-time chief executive is to leave the drinks company after more than two decades at a time of growing competition from industry heavyweights and smaller challengers. PepsiCo further said its board of directors has unanimously elected Ramon Laguarta to succeed Ms Nooyi.

He now serves as president, overseeing global operations, corporate strategy, public policy and government affairs.

Her mother required her to prepare speeches on important topics of the day; her grandfather, a judge, practised maths problems with Ms Nooyi and her siblings.

"I've had a wonderful time being CEO, but at some point you sit back and say, look, it's a responsible move to effect an orderly transition and to have somebody else take over the leadership of this company", she said in an interview. Kohl's is a rare exception because both its CEO, Michelle Gass, and its president, Sona Chawla, are women. Dividends per share almost tripled from $1.16 in 2006 to $3.17 in 2017 and a compound annual growth rate of almost 10%, according to a PepsiCo statement.

One area of interest for Nooyi is getting more women into the upper echelons of management. Nearly exactly a year ago, Mondelez CEO Irene Rosenfeld announced she would be stepping down from the maker of Oreos and Cadbury, and in May Campbell Soup's Denise Morrison retired suddenly. In 2014 activist investor Nelson Peltz pushed for Pepsi to spin off its snack business as a separate company.

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