“All the four people before me have left phenomenal legacies... I hope I am able to fill the shoes they have left behind...,” said Indra Nooyi in response to a question put to her by the media.She sounded all ready to take on the huge responsibility as PepsiCo Inc announced on 5 february that its chief executive officer would become the executive chairman, replacing Steven Reinemund when he retires on May 2.
The move is in line with the plans announced last August but shows the coming of age of Indian professionals on the global scene. While PepsiCo’s is ranked 61st on the Fortune 500 list, Nooyi ranks second among 10 female US CEOs, with only Patricia Woertz of Archer Daniels Midland ranked higher. ”I’m incredibly honored by the board’s confidence,” she said in a statement. She is only the fifth chairman of the US giant.
Nooyi, 51, has been at PepsiCo since 1994 and has been credited with shifting the company to build a portfolio of healthier foods, including the acquisition of the Quaker Oats and Tropicana brands. Before she became CEO, she served as president and CFO.