Nooyi leaves Pepsi wondering what might have been


Nooyi implemented a strategy of acquiring and developing more healthful products and beverages, with somewhat mixed results, and fended off pressure to break up the company from activist investor Nelson Peltz, of Trian Fund Management. Previously, Laguarta served as chief executive officer, Europe Sub-Saharan Africa.

Nooyi is the third female CEO to leave a Fortune 500 company in the last one year after Denise Morrison quit Campbell Soup in May and Irene Rosenfeld stepped down as the head of Oreo-cookie maker Mondelez International Inc in August 2017.

Nooyi will remain as chairman until early next year.

PepsiCo's board of directors elected Laguarta, 54-a 22-year PepsiCo veteran who has served as the company's president since September 2017-to CEO and to the board. Before joining PepsiCo in 1996, he worked for Chupa Chups, a Spanish leading confectionery company, where he held a number of worldwide roles in Europe and the US. Nooyi was also very vocal about the challenges women faced in trying to find a balance in managing their home and work. "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", said Laguarta.

Laguarta will take over on October 3 and will also join the board. She was one of the main speakers at AdAsia 2011, where the theme was dealing with uncertainty; her message - that volatility is the new normal, and business leaders must learn the skill of adaptability - holds true to this day.

"How are we going to attract women who are more than 50 percent of all the college graduates who are getting all the top grades?" "I'm just a good worker bee".

Just 25 women now run an S&P 500 company, according to research group Catalyst, a level that has not changed much in the past decade even though women are half of the USA workforce.

The packaged food industry in particular has witnessed several key female executive exits in the past year. She will be replaced by President Ramon Laguarta. @PepsiCo has been my life for 24 years & part of my heart will always remain here. It now wants sales growth of healthier products to outpace traditional drinks and snacks by 2025. A high-profile bid in 2015 to reformulate Diet Pepsi led to lower sales, and the company revived its old formula a year later. "I look at our performance over a long period of time", she said. Pepsi was rebuffed in 2016 in its attempt to take a major stake in Chobani, the Greek-yogurt maker.

Under Nooyi's leadership, PepsiCo's revenue grew by more than 80 per cent as it added a new billion-dollar brand every other year.

In its Q2 earnings report in July, PepsiCo reported North American beverage revenues were down 1 percent to $5.19 billion.