After 12 Years, Indra Nooyi to Step Down as PepsiCo CEO

She will pass the baton to Ramon Laguarte, the current President of Pepsico, on October 3

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Whether it's a list about the world's most powerful businesswomen or one that talks about the most successful CEOs in the world, it's a rarity that Indra Nooyi misses that list.

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And now, after 12 years of being the CEO of Pepsico, Nooyi is set to step down. She will pass the baton to Ramon Laguarte, the current President of Pepsico, on October 3.

Entrepreneur India takes a look at the remarkable journey of the Indian-born businesswoman.

From the Classrooms of India to the Boardrooms of the US

Even though she was born in Chennai to a conservative middle-class family, Nooyi was not one to conform to norms. Breaking traditions, she was a part of a girl-band and also played cricket. But it was her genius mind that took her forward. A student of IIM-Calcutta and then the Yale School of Management, Nooyi carved her own path to success. She started her journey with Johnson & Johnson and then worked with Boston Consulting Group. She joined PepsiCo in 1994 as the Chief Strategist.

She quickly climbed the corporate ladder and became the CEO in 2006. In the 44 years of PepsiCo then, she was the 5th CEO.

Talking about stepping down from her post, Nooyi today tweeted, "Growing up in India, I never imagined I'd have the opportunity to lead an extraordinary company like @PepsiCo. Leading this company has been the honor of my lifetime. We've made more meaningful impact in people's lives than I ever dreamed possible."

Recognitions Galore

Over the 12 years of her career, Nooyi has had several accomplishments to her name. She was listed as one of Time's 100 most influential people in the world in 2007 and 2008. In Fortune's 50 Most Powerful Women in Business list, Nooyi held the top spot continuously from 2006 to 2010. She has been named as one of America's Best Leaders in 2008 by U.S. News & World Report while also being touted as the sixth most powerful woman in the world by Forbes in 2010, and fourth in 2011.

Nooyi is also responsible for many of PepsiCo's leading achievements. She helped make one of the biggest food deals in corporate history when Pepsi acquired Quaker Oats for $13.4 billion. Since she has been at the helm of the company, PepsiCo's shares have gained 78 per cent.

A True Leader

Being a woman leader, Nooyi has often spoken about gender inclusion at the workplace. Reports suggest that Nooyi would also watch replays of Chicago Bulls championship games to learn more about teamwork. Former Pepsi CEO Steven Reinemund has called Nooyi "a deeply caring person" who "can relate to people from the boardroom to the front line."

An emotional Nooyi also tweeted, "Today is a day of mixed emotions for me. @PepsiCo has been my life for 24 years & part of my heart will always remain here. I'm proud of what we've done & excited for the future. I believe PepsiCo's best days are yet to come."