Pepsi's First Female CEO, Indra Nooyi, Is Stepping Down — Here's What That Means

Pepsi’s First Female CEO, Indra Nooyi, Is Stepping Down — Here’s What That Means

Come October 3rd, 2018, Pepsi’s first female CEO, Indra Nooyi, will step down from her position. Nooyi has held the position as Pepsi’s CEO for 12 years and will now hand the title off to Ramon Laguarta, a 22-year veteran of the company.

Nooyi is one of the rare few women, and even fewer people of color, to run a Fortune 500 company. During her time heading Pepsi, she grew sales by 80% and encouraged the company to introduce healthier food items to their repertoire, which proved to be a success. Nooyi also helped PepsiC. expand internationally and broaden their consumer horizon.

In a statement released by Pepsi on August 6th, Nooyi said, “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.”

She continued, “Leading PepsiCo has truly been the honor of my lifetime, and I’m incredibly proud of all we have done over the past 12 years to advance the interests not only of shareholders, but all our stakeholders in the communities we serve.”

Nooyi later published a series of tweets announcing her departure.

Nooyi’s reason for leaving is that she simply believes it is time for new leadership. She told Time on August 6th, “Being a CEO requires strong legs and I feel like I ran two legs of a relay race and I want somebody else with nice strong legs and sharp eyes to come and lead this company.”

She is confident in handing the company off to Laguarta, whom she refers to as a “critical partner and friend.”

Although Nooyi’s departure from Pepsi means there is one less female leader in the S&P 500, Nooyi is passionate about empowering future businesswomen and aims to mentor and support those who wish to end up in the boardroom or as CEO of major corporations.

We’re sad to see Nooyi go, but as she stated to Time, her job is just beginning. “I can do things now that I was constrained to do when I was CEO of the company,” she said. We can’t wait to see what Nooyi brings to the table next.

One of the books Indra Nooyi highly recommends is David Brooks’ The Road to Character. She told Fortune, “It sparked a wonderful discussion with my two daughters about why building inner character is just as important as building a career.” You can buy it on Amazon Prime for $10.96.