To be a CEO is a calling. You should not do it because it is a job. It is a calling, and you have got to be involved in it with your head, heart and hands. Your heart has got to be in the job; you got to love what you do; it consumes you. And if you are not willing to get into the CEO job that way, there is no point getting into it.
– Indra Nooyi
After serving for 24 years at the PepsiCo and 12 years as the chief executive of the company, Indra Nooyi has decided to step down from the post. Though, her exit from the company will not be immediate as she will continue as chairperson “until early 2019 to ensure a smooth and seamless transition.
Nooyi, who was born in India, is a rarity on Wall Street as a woman and a minority leading a Fortune 500 company. She looked after PepsiCo during a turbulent time in the industry that has forced food giants including Coca-Cola Co, Campbell Soup Co and Oreo maker Mondelez International Inc to adapt to changing tastes for better marketing.
Nooyi is an alumnus of Indian Institute of Management (IIM), Calcutta and Yale University. In January 2016, Yale School of Management announced that Nooyi made a landmark gift to endow the deanship of the school and inaugurate the Fifth Decade Innovation Fund. With this gift, Nooyi became the most generous graduate of Yale School of Management in terms of lifetime giving to the school.
62-year-old Nooyi took over as CEO in 2006, becoming the first woman chief executive of PepsiCo. She joined as senior vice president, strategic planning in 1994. At PepsiCo, Nooyi stressed the company’s move toward “good for you” options, such as Baked Lay’s potato chips and Naked juices made of fruits and vegetables.
Apart from being a prominent face of women leadership across the world, she was also the epitome of success for the millions of young Indians who aspired to be like her as they watched her journey through the ranks of PepsiCo and eventually leading the global conglomerate.
Nooyi also serves on the boards of the International Cricket Council and several non-profit organizations, 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.
Nooyi’s impeccable journey has been inspiration to many people across the globe. She will step down as CEO on October 3 and the second-largest food and beverage company has elected Ramon Laguarta, 54, to succeed her. During Nooyi’s stint as CEO, PepsiCo saw its revenue grow by more than 80 per cent and added a new billion-dollar brand almost every other year.
Nooyi said leading PepsiCo has been the “honour” of her lifetime, and she is “incredibly proud” of all the company has done over the past 12 years to advance the interests of shareholders and stakeholders. Nooyi had also created history by being among the few India-born females to lead a global giant when she took over the reins at PepsiCo.
PepsiCo, Inc. has announced that its Board of Directors has unanimously elected Ramon Laguarta, 54, to succeed Indra K. Nooyi, 62, as Chief Executive Officer. Laguarta, who hails from Barcelona in Spain, was appointed the CEO of PepsiCo Europe in 2014. He moved to the US in 2017 when he was appointed the company President. Laguarta did his MBA from ESADE business school in Barcelona. He also holds a master’s degree in International Management from the Thunderbird School of Global Management in the US. Before joining PepsiCo in 1996, he worked for Chupa Chups, a Spanish leading confectionery company, where he held a number of international roles in Europe and the US. He oversaw the company’s food and beverage business across Europe and food business in Sub-Saharan Africa during his initial years with PepsiCo.
“Ramon Laguarta is exactly the right person to build on our success. He has a deep understanding of the changing preferences of consumers and other critical trends unfolding around the world,” said the outgoing CEO Indra Nooyi.