Indra Nooyi, PepsiCo CEO, steps down after 12 years
Indra Nooyi, who has led global food and beverage giant PepsiCo as CEO for 12 years, is stepping down, the company announced. President Ramon Laguarta will now succeed her. He will commence his new role from October 3, the same day Nooyi's tenure ends. However, she will continue as chairman till early 2019. PepsiCo's premarket stock price declined marginally after the announcement.
In a statement, Nooyi said, "Growing up in India, I never imagined I'd have the opportunity to lead such an extraordinary company... Guided by our philosophy of Performance with Purpose...we've made a more meaningful impact in people's lives than I ever dreamed possible."
Nooyi was born in Chennai in 1955. She stayed there till she graduated from Madras Christian College before moving to IIM-Kolkata. She then attended the Yale School of Management in 1978, earning a Master's in Public and Private Management. Her CV, that began with Johnson and Johnson and Mettur Beardsell, later expanded to include other big names like Boston Consulting Group, Motorola and Asea Brown Boveri.
Nooyi joined PepsiCo in 1994 as Senior Vice President of Corporate Strategy and Development. In 1996, she became the Chief Financial Officer, and by 2001, was named President and appointed to the board of directors. In October 2006, Nooyi was appointed the CEO. In May 2007, she assumed the role of Chairman of PepsiCo's board of directors.
Under Nooyi's leadership, PepsiCo saw several key deals. In 1997, it decided to spin off its Pizza Hut, KFC and Taco Bell chains for $4.5bn, which boosted its share buyback plans. The next year, it acquired Tropicana for $3.3bn and directly became Coca-Cola's rival. In 2000, PepsiCo acquired Quaker Oats at $13.4bn, which gave it control over the latter's popular sports drink, Gatorade.
Laguarta, who will succeed Nooyi, is a Barcelona native with an MBA from Spain's ESADE business school. Before joining PepsiCo in 1996, he worked with Spain-based candy company Chupa Chups SA. Earlier, he served in several leadership positions in the European and sub-Saharan Africa markets. Since September, he has been serving as president, overseeing global operations, public policy, corporate strategy and government affairs.
Laguarta too has led active expansion of the company in Europe. Under his leadership was born Pepsi Max, a sugar-free version of the soft drink, which is now a billion-dollar brand. Laguarta also oversaw the second largest acquisition the company has made after the Quaker Oats deal: in 2010, he helped close a $5.4bn agreement with Russian dairy products and fruit-juice maker Wimm-Bill-Dann.