After 12 years at the helm, Pepsico’s Indian-origin Chief Executive Officer Indra Krishnamurthy Nooyi has decided to step down, the company announced on Monday. However, she will remain chairman till early 2019.
Who is Indra Nooyi?
Born into a middle-class family in Chennai on October 18, 1955, Indra Nooyi rose to become one of the top female Indian American executives who is consistently ranked among the world’s 100 most powerful women.
A brilliant student, who began her education at Holy Angels Anglo Indian Higher Secondary School, Nooyi graduated from Madras Christian College after studying physics, chemistry, and mathematics in 1974.
As a young girl, she played the guitar in a band and was also a member of an all-girls’ cricket team.
After graduation, she pursued MBA from the Indian Institute of Management in Kolkata in 1976 and also earned a seat in Yale School of Management in the US for further studies. She worked with Boston Consulting Group (BCG), Motorola and Asea Brown Boveri.
After gaining much prominence as a strategist, she received several job offers from some of the leading firms, including General Electric and PepsiCo. It was in 1994 that the female executive joined PepsiCo, the second largest food and beverage business in the world by net revenue, as senior vice-president of corporate strategy and development.
In 2000, Nooyi was promoted to chief financial officer due to her impressive work and two years later, she became the fifth CEO in the company after the retirement of Steve Reinemund.
Nooyi is married to Raj Nooyi, a management consultant of Indian origin. The couple has two daughters.
Awards and achievement: Indra Nooyi has consistently ranked on ‘Forbes’ magazine’s list of The World’s 100 Most Powerful Women.
In 2017, she was ranked second on the Forbes’ list of most powerful women in business after Mary T Barra, CEO of General Motors. In 2016, she was ranked third on the list.
‘Fortune’ magazine named her No.1 on its annual ranking of Most Powerful Women in business for five consecutive years from 2006 to 2010. In 2007, she was awarded the Padma Bhushan by the President of India.
In 2008, Nooyi was named one of America’s Best Leaders by US News & World Report. She was also elected to the Fellowship of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
In the same year, Nooyi was elected chairwoman of the US-India Business Council (USIBC). She leads USIBC’s Board of Directors, an assembly of more than 60 senior executives representing a cross-section of American industry.
Nooyi was also named 2009 CEO of the Year by Global Supply Chain Leaders Group. In 2013, she was named one of the “25 Greatest Global Living Legends” by NDTV.