Pepsi's first female CEO Indra Nooyi to step down after 12 yrs

Pepsi's first female CEO Indra Nooyi to step down after 12 yrs

Another PepsiCo veteran, Ramon Laguarta, will take over as chief executive in October, the company said Monday.

Nooyi will leave the role in October, although she will remain on as chairman until early 2019 to smooth the transition.

As CEO for 12 years, she has boosted sales of the Mountain Dew and Gatorade maker to $63.5 billion, up 80 percent from when she started. Indra had joined Pepsico in 1994 and in 2006 took over as the CEO from Steven Reinemund.

She reclassified PepsiCo's products into three categories: "fun for you" (such as potato chips and regular soda), "better for you" (diet or low-fat versions of snacks and sodas), and "good for you" (items such as oatmeal). Prior to his promotion to president, a role in which he was responsible for global operations, corporate strategy, public policy and government affairs, he was CEO of PepsiCo's Europe Sub-Saharan Africa division.

He previously worked for Chupa Chups, a Spain-based candy company known for its lollipops.

Nooyi, who was born in India, is a rarity on Wall Street as a woman and a minority leading a Fortune 500 company.

Like Nooyi, Laguarta was promoted from within the company.

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PepsiCo said that the rest of its senior leadership will remain unchanged. In 2014, she was ranked at number 13 on the Forbes list of The World's 100 Most Powerful Women and was ranked the 2nd most powerful woman on the Fortune list in 2015.

Indra also tweeted, "Today is a day of mixed emotions for me". She is a symbol of women's development.

Like many CEOs in a divisive political era, Nooyi has found herself a part of political discussions.

Having always aspired to be in the US, Nooyi left her job at Johnson & Johnson and applied for the Yale School of Management and got through with a scholarship. I want to thank Indra for her overwhelming support. "I happen to be in the second group, and so I just want to make sure that whatever I can do behind the scenes to help any cause, I will - that makes sense for me". It now wants sales growth of healthier products to outpace traditional drinks and snacks by 2025.

But there have been stumbles. Shares of Pepsi were slightly higher in early trading.

Still, Pepsi's stock lagged the broader market in recent years, and it has trailed rival Coca-Cola. The hedge fund exited its stake in 2016.

The Frito Lay snacks business now contributes 46 percent in total operating profits, almost double its beverage business. She will hand over the reins to PepsiCo president Ramon Laguarta. But Frito-Lay, while not immune to the shifts, has defended its turf, controlling about two-thirds of the US salty-snack market. And Good For You includes foods such as Quaker Oats oatmeal, Sabra hummus and Naked Juice smoothies. Both Coke and the S&P also have slightly outperformed Pepsi during Nooyi's tenure.

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