Indra Nooyi: the new PepsiCo CEO

Indra Nooyi has been chosen as the next Pepsi CEO. She will one of the few women chiefs of a world-wide corporation. Pepsi will probably be the largest – by market cap – organization to be run by a woman exec!

Who is Indra Nooyi? She is as unlikely a candidate as it possibly comes to be leading a worldwide corp. Here is her resume in brief:

Education:

  • Master of Public and Private Management; Yale University
  • MBA, Indian Institute of Management (IIM) – Calcutta; India
  • BS, Madras Christian College

Experience

1986-90: VP and Director of Corporate Strategy and Planning, Motorola

1990-94: Senior VP of Strategy and Strategic Marketing, ABB

1994-96: Senior VP of Startegic Planning PepsiCo

1996-99: Senior VP of Corp Strategy and Development, PepsiCo

2001: Names President and CFO and elected to Board of Directors, PepsiCo.

She is a classic immigrant success story where an immigrant – a lady at that (not many American women are even as successful in the Corporate World even today!) – has made it big after being educated and working in India.

She is also quick-witted and one who likes to speak out her mind openly. In an address at Columbia University’s Business School – she likened the five major continents to her hand with US representing the middle finger. She said: “Eash of us.. must be carefulthat when we extend our arm in a business or political sense, we take pains to assure we are giving a hand … not the finger… Unfortunately, i think this is how the rest of the world looks at the US.”.

She was severly criticised on these remarks all over the place and she placed an apology on the Pepsi site subsequently.

She is also known to wear saris to major corporate functions and meetings and is a deeply religious. She follows Hindu faith and has a separate puja (prayer) room in her house for daily prayers. She and her husband have two daughters – one teenage and another in college.


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