Indra Nooyi steps down: PepsiCo calls her 'a pioneer'; under her helm company's revenues grew by more than 80%

New Delhi: PepsiCo announced on Monday that its CEO Indra Nooyi will step down as its CEO after heading the world's second-largest food and beverage giant for 12 years.

Born in Chennai, Nooyi has successfully changed the face of beverage major Pepsico with her agenda of "performance with purpose" by offering more nutritious products.

During her 12-year stint as CEO, PepsiCo saw its revenue grow by more than 80 percent and added a new billion-dollar brand almost every other year.

Nooyi (62) invested in the future of the company and during her tenure Pepsico's spendings on R&D almost got trebled.

She focused on delivering sustainable long-term growth while leaving a positive imprint on society and the environment. This included transforming PepsiCo's portfolio and offering healthier options while making food system more sustainable.

Long stint at Pepsico

Nooyi, a graduate from Madras Christian College and MBA from IIM Calcutta, who had been at the helm of affairs of $63.5 billion Pepsico for almost 12 years, oversaw a number of key restructurings during her 24 years' tenure at New York-headquartered food and beverage giant. She joined PepsiCo in 1994 and had an immediate influence on the company's strategic direction. She was instrumental in PepsiCo spinning off its Pizza Hut, KFC and Taco Bell restaurants for $4.5 billion.

Nooyi also played a key role in PepsiCo's acquisition of Tropicana and Quaker Oats. Besides, under Nooyi's tenure, PepsiCo focused on reaching out to the emerging markets and rapidly expanding middle classes there. Issuing a statement, PepsiCo said: "Under Nooyi's leadership, our revenue has grown by more than 80 percent and we have added a new billion-dollar brand almost every other year."

 Indra Nooyi steps down: PepsiCo calls her a pioneer; under her helm companys revenues grew by more than 80%

File photo of Indra Nooyi. AFP

Moreover, during her tenure, PepsiCo "developed new design and eCommerce capabilities, a business which generated $1 billion in annual retail sales last year".

Terming her as "truly a pioneer" Pepsico said she was responsible for spearheading its 'performance with purpose' vision. This was to offer "more nutritious products, limit environmental impact and support people and the communities". PepsiCo is presently globally the second-largest food and beverage company and her admirers credit it to Nooyi.

During her stint, PepsiCo Inc, along with its partners, had on November 2013 announced to invest $5.5 billion (Rs 33,000 crore) to double its manufacturing capacity in India by 2020.

"I am especially proud of the great work we have done in India to transform our portfolio to include more nutritious products, working with and supporting thousands of Indian farmers, and providing an inclusive workplace in which our associates in India can bring their whole selves to work every day. That will not change," said Nooyi in her statement.

Ramon Laguarta to replace Nooyi 

PepsiCo Inc has appointed Ramon Laguarta to take over as chief executive from Nooyi, handing the reins to a veteran who led the company’s fast-growing emerging markets business. Laguarta, who starts on 3 October, will be tasked with managing the company’s response as consumer tastes move away from sugary drinks.

Nooyi, 62, is stepping down after 24 years at PepsiCo, where she held a variety of roles, including her most recent 12 years as CEO. Her departure also leaves only one woman of color among Fortune 500 CEOs.

Laguarta will be PepsiCo’s sixth CEO in its 53-year history. Nooyi described Laguarta as the 'right person' to help build on Pepsico's 'strong position and success'.

A 22-year veteran of PepsiCo, Laguarta oversaw global operations, corporate strategy, public policy and government affairs in his role as president.

The Spaniard previously headed the company’s Europe Sub-Saharan Africa (ESSA) division - a unit PepsiCo characterized as “one of the most complex business divisions in the company,” due to its mix of both developed and emerging markets.

Laguarta, 54, was named the president of the company in September last year and was tipped to succeed Nooyi. He also formerly led PepsiCo’s Eastern European operations.

“With a deep understanding of PepsiCo’s international operations, and a broader understanding of the total company portfolio in his role as president, we believe that Laguarta is well-placed to continue executing on PepsiCo’s current strategy,” Cowen & Co analysts said.

PepsiCo’s shares were up 1.6 percent in morning trading on Monday, touching a seven-month high of $118.21 earlier in the session.

Nooyi is the third female CEO to leave a Fortune 500 company in the last one year after Denise Morrison quit Campbell Soup in May and Irene Rosenfeld stepped down as the head of Oreo-cookie maker Mondelez International Inc in August 2017.

That leaves only 23 female CEOs at Fortune 500 companies, representing less than 5 percent of the total, according to the Fortune magazine.

--With inputs from agencies

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Updated Date: Aug 07, 2018 14:01:21 IST