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Greenwich’s Nooyi stepping down at Pepsi

August 6, 2018

Indra Nooyi is stepping down in early October as CEO of PepsiCo after a dozen years leading the Purchase, N.Y.-based food and beverage giant, with the company promoting its corporate president Ramon Laguarta as her replacement.

Nooyi, 62, is the fifth CEO in PepsiCo history, having increased revenue more than 80 percent since taking the role in 2006 to $63.5 billion last year. In addition to its namesake cola, Pepsi owns Aquafina, Frito-Lay, Gatorade, Quaker Oats, and Tropicana among other brands.

A Greenwich resident, Nooyi has been a fixture on Forbes’ annual list of the 10 powerful women in the world, becoming CEO in October 2006 replacing Steven Reinemund and adding the board chair role the following year.

Through acquisitions and regular hiring during the Nooyi years, PepsiCo has expanded its U.S. workforce by some 51,000 people to 113,000 in all, while adding 55,000 more in other countries to give it a global workforce of 263,000 entering this year.

Speaking in 2015 at the University of Maryland, Nooyi described the vision she had sought for PepsiCo during her tenure.

“At PepsiCo, ... the whole company operates under this vision of ‘performance with purpose’ — it’s our simple idea that short-term profits need not come at the expense of long-term sustainable growth,” Nooyi said. “It means that we expand our portfolio of products to include healthier options; it means being a good steward of the environment; and it means truly caring for our employees so they feel they are making a living in PepsiCo — and having a life.”

From an adjusted price of about $65 when Nooyi was elevated to CEO, Pepsi shares trade today above $116. As of April, Nooyi held PepsiCo shares valued at $168 million, with the company estimating her compensation last year at $31.1 million.

Like Laguarta, Nooyi was promoted to the top spot, having been president and chief financial officer since 2001 and before that leading corporate strategy. Earlier in her career, she worked for Motorola, Boston Consulting Group and Johnson & Johnson among others.

Nooyi has a master’s degree in management from Yale University, an MBA from the Indian Institute of Management in Calcutta and an undergraduate degree from Madras Christian College.

Alex.Soule@scni.com; 203-842-2545; @casoulman

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