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INDRA NOOYI: A CORPORATE GIANT – INDRA KRISHNAMURTHY NOOYI
Indra Nooyi, (born October 28, 1955, Madras, India), Indian-American businesswoman, former chairperson and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) who was instrumental in the lucrative restructuring and diversification of soft-drink manufacturer PepsiCo, Inc.’s brands. Nooyi served as the company’s CEO from 2006 -18 and chairman of the board from 2007–19.
Nooyi has consistently ranked among the world’s 100 most powerful women. In 2014, she was ranked at number 13 on the Forbes list of The World's 100 Most Powerful Women, and was ranked the 2nd most powerful woman on the Fortune list in 2015. In 2017, she was ranked the 2nd most powerful woman once more on the Forbes list of The 19 Most Powerful Women in Business. She serves on the boards of Amazon and the International Cricket Council. Philips has proposed that Nooyi join their board in May 2021.
She earned a bachelor’s degree in chemistry from Madras Christian College in 1976 and a Degree in Business Administration from the Indian Institute of Management in Calcutta two years later. After moving to the United States, she received an additional master’s degree in public and private management from the Yale School of Management in 1980. For the next six years, Nooyi worked as a consultant for the Boston Consulting Group. She later held executive positions at Motorola, Inc., and the engineering firm Asea Brown Boveri (now ABB).
In 1994 Nooyi joined PepsiCo as senior vice president of corporate strategy and development. In 2001 she was named president and chief financial officer of the company. She said leading PepsiCo has been the “honour” of her lifetime, and she is “incredibly proud” of all the company has done over the past 12 years to advance the interests of shareholders and stakeholders. Nooyi was responsible for guiding a major restructuring, which included the company’s spin-off of its restaurants—which included KFC, Pizza Hut, and Taco Bell—into Tricon Global Restaurants (which later became Yum! Brands, Inc.), as well as the spin-off of PepsiCo’s bottling operations. In addition, she oversaw the acquisition (1998) of Tropicana Products and a merger in 2001 with the Quaker Oats Co. as part of the company’s strategy of diversifying into more healthful drinks and foods.
Nooyi took charge as CEO in October 2006 and the next year became chairman of the board as well. The fifth chairman and CEO in PepsiCo’s 42-year history, Nooyi was the first woman to lead the soft-drink and snack-food giant and one of only 11 female chief executives of Fortune 500 companies. Nooyi continued the strategy of making PepsiCo a well-balanced consumer-products company that was less reliant on sales of its flagship soft drinks. She also aggressively pursued international expansion. Under her leadership, PepsiCo’s revenues increased from $35 billion in 2006 to $63.5 billion in 2017. The following year it was announced that Nooyi would be stepping down as CEO in October and as chairman of the board in early 2019.
Indra Nooyi not only broke the glass ceiling in corporate America when she was named CEO of global beverage giant PepsiCo in 2006 but, through her journey, inspired millions of young Indians who dreamed of and aspired to be successful. She was among the few female executives of India-born executives to lead global corporate giants. Nooyi was also very vocal about the challenges women faced in trying to find a balance in managing their home and work. She had even once told said at an Aspen Ideas Festival in Colorado in 2014 that women “cannot have it all”. She continued to say that she has died “with guilt” several times in her life as she tried to bring up her two daughters with her husband.
She recalled her mother telling her, “let me explain something to you. You might be president of PepsiCo. You might be on the board of directors. But when you enter this house, you are the wife, you are the daughter, you are the daughter-in-law, you are the mother. You are all of that. Nobody else can take that place. So leave that damned crown in the garage. And don’t bring it into the house. You know I’ve never seen that crown.”
Nooyi is an alumnus of Indian Institute of Management, Calcutta and Yale University. In January 2016, Yale School of Management announced that Nooyi made a landmark gift to endow the deanship of the school and inaugurate the Fifth Decade Innovation Fund. With this gift, Nooyi became the most generous graduate of Yale School of Management in terms of lifetime giving to the school. She is also the first woman to endow the deanship at a top business school.
Indra Nooyi, (born October 28, 1955, Madras, India), Indian-American businesswoman, former chairperson and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of PepsiCo. Nooyi has consistently ranked among the world’s 100 most powerful women. Indra Nooyi not only broke the glass ceiling in corporate America when she was named CEO of global beverage giant PepsiCo in 2006 but, through her journey, inspired millions of young Indians who dreamed of and aspired to be successful.