Arthur J. Villasanta – Fourth Estate Contributor
Purchase, NY, United States (4E) – Indra Nooyi, PepsiCo’s first female CEO, leaves her leadership post on Oct. 3 after 12 years at the helm of the world’s second largest food and beverage business in terms of net revenues.
Nooyi, 62, was the first female CEO in PepsiCo’s history. When she steps down as CEO, she will have spent 24 years with Pepsi and in that time boosted the group’s sales by 80 percent. Nooyi will remain chairwoman of the board until early 2019, however.
“Leading PepsiCo has truly been the honor of my lifetime, and I’m incredibly proud of all we have done over the past 12 years to advance the interests not only of shareholders, but all our stakeholders in the communities we serve,” said Nooyi.
PepsiCo president Ramon Laguarta will succeed Nooyi as CEO. Laguarta will be PepsiCo’s sixth CEO. He has been president of PepsiCo since September 2017, and is responsible for global operations, corporate strategy and government affairs, among others. Nooyi praised Laguarta, calling him “exactly the right person to build on our success.”
Nooyi, an Indian, helped transform Pepsi into one of the most successful food and beverage companies in the world. She spearheaded Pepsi’s transition into a more environmentally aware company selling healthier products. As CEO, Nooyi led PepsiCo’s expansion through mergers and acquisitions.
Nooyi recognized the importance of shifting Pepsi toward healthier food and snacks. She said the move to heathier drinks and snacks is important for the company’s future because of consumers’ increasing attention to health.
She established three new product categories: Fun For You (traditional, higher-calorie soft drinks and snacks); Better For You (diet drinks and lower-calorie snacks), and Good For You (Quaker Oats, Sabra hummus and Naked Juice smoothies).
Laguarta will take over amid a drop in sales of Pepsi-Cola in North America and as the company shifts it focus to producing healthier drinks with less sugar. The growing distaste for sugary sodas among Americans has hurt sales of both Pepsi and Coke.
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