Indra Nooyi quits PepsiCo, 12 years after being CEO

PepsiCo's Indra Nooyi to step down as CEO

Pepsi CEO Indra Nooyi is stepping down

Though she will step down as CEO on October 3, she will remain Chairman until early 2019 to aid an easy transition.

Under Nooyi's 12-year tenure as CEO, she boosted sales of the Mountain Dew and Gatorade maker to $63.5billion, up 80 per cent from when she started. Under her chairmanship, the company also improved in environmental sustainability metrics.

Nooyi was named as Fortune's second most powerful woman in business a year ago, coming after chairman and CEO of General Motors, Mary Barra.

"When you become CEO, overnight you are the person calling all the shots, you're responsible for making sure you get all the information from the company, crystallize it down to, simple ideas, and then tell the organization what to do", she said. All those companies changed CEOs in roughly the a year ago.

"Growing up in India, I never imagined I'd have the opportunity to lead such an extraordinary company", Indra said.

Nooyi, who was born in India, is a rarity on Wall Street as a woman and a minority leading a Fortune 100 company.

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Laguarta, Nooyi successor, has held a number of executive and general management roles in his 22 years at PepsiCo.

Since the middle of last year several high-profile female CEOs announced they were stepping down last year, including Marissa Mayer at Yahoo, Irene Rosenfeld at Mondelez and Meg Whitman of Hewlett Packard Enterprise. Since September 2017, Laguarta has served as President of PepsiCo, overseeing global operations, corporate strategy, public policy and government affairs.

Laguarta has previously served in leadership positions in PepsiCo's European and sub-Saharan Africa divisions. She also received praise from analysts following her announcement.

She said the shift toward healthier products required totally realigning the company's "innovation, marketing, execution and budgets" - and then changing the company's culture.

Still, Pepsi's stock lagged the broader market in recent years, and it has trailed rival Coca-Cola. But Nooyi was able to fight off calls to break up the company. In recent years, she resisted call by an activist investor to spin off PepsiCo's beverage business, which has struggled in North America, from its better-performing Frito-Lay snacks business.

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