PepsiCo CEO Indra Nooyi to end tenure

Indra Nooyi PepsiCoPepsiCo’s boss Indra Nooyi has announced that she will retire as CEO after 24 years with the company.

The soft drinks giant has announced that the Board of directors unanimously elected Ramon Laguarta to succeed Nooyi.

“Leading PepsiCo has truly been the honour 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 in a statement.

“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 — delivering sustained performance while making more nutritious products, limiting our environmental footprint and lifting up all the communities we serve — we’ve made a more meaningful impact in people’s lives than I ever dreamed possible. PepsiCo today is in a strong position for continued growth with its brightest days still ahead.”

Nooyi will step down as PepsiCo’s chief on October 3 but will remain as the company’s chairman until early 2019 to ensure a smooth transition. Laguarta was also elected to the company’s Board of Directors, which will take effect in October 3. The outgoing CEO said that she was confident in her successor’s ability to lead the company.

“Ramon Laguarta is exactly the right person to build on our success. He is a terrific executive with a long and proven track record of growing businesses. He has a deep understanding of the changing preferences of consumers and other critical trends unfolding around the world, and he has demonstrated that he knows how to navigate them successfully. Ramon has been a critical partner in running the company, and I’m confident he will take PepsiCo to new and greater heights in the years to come,” she said.

Nooyi has set the mark in the competitive FMCG landscape as one of the first Fortune 100 CEOs to create sustainability targets into business operations, according to the global soft drinks manufacturer.

“As chairman and CEO, Indra has provided outstanding leadership over the past 12 years, serving as a model both within our industry and beyond for responsible corporate stewardship in the 21st century,” said PepsiCo presiding director Ian Cook.

“She has delivered strong and consistent financial performance, managing with an eye toward not only the short-run, but the long-run as well. As CEO, she grew revenue more than 80 per cent, outperforming our peers and adding a new billion dollar brand almost every other year. And shareholders have benefited, $1,000 invested in PepsiCo in 2006 is worth more than two and a half times that amount today. At the same time, Indra has invested for the future, leading the way on corporate sustainability and responsibility, and embedding a sense of purpose in everything the company does.”

Nooyi is the first foreign-born CEO of the soft drinks company and the first female boss to lead PepsiCo, whose revenue amounted to $63 billion last year.

PepsiCo grew its portfolio of Good for You and Better for You options throughout the years from about 38 per cent of revenue in 2006 to roughly 50 per cent in 2017. The FMCG giant has also taken a spot on the Ethisphere’s list of the World’s Most Ethical Companies every year since the list was created 12 years ago.

Laguarta will become the sixth CEO at PepsiCo. He has held a number of executive and general management roles in his 22 years at the soft drinks giant. He was the former president of PepsiCo, overseeing global operations, corporate strategy, public policy and government affairs. He was also previously the CEO of the Europe Sub-Saharan Africa division and the eastern Europe region. Laguarta also worked for Chupa Chups in Spain. The Spanish boss holds an MBA from ESADE Business School in Spain and a Master’s degree in International Management from Thunderbird School of Global Management in the US.

Confirming the news today he said, “I’m incredibly humbled and privileged to be appointed the next CEO of PepsiCo, and I want to thank the Board of directors for the confidence they have placed in me with their decision. I also want to thank Indra for her overwhelming support. She has transformed the company with her bold vision and outstanding leadership, and I feel fortunate to have her as a mentor and a friend.”

Ramon Laguarta’s unanimous appointment follows a thorough process by the Board of Directors. “Laguarta equally represents continuity and the necessary agility for PepsiCo,” said Daniel Vasella, chairman of PepsiCo Board’s Nominating and Corporate Governance Committee.

PepsiCo said the senior leadership team will remain unchanged.

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