Indra Nooyi will step down as PepsiCo’s CEO after heading the world’s second-largest food and beverage giant for 12 years, the company announced on Monday, with its Indian-origin top executive exuding confidence that the “best days are yet to come” for the soda and snacks firm which she helped transform.
Nooyi, 62, will leave the company on October 3 after 24 years with PepsiCo. She will remain chairman until early 2019.
PepsiCo’s board of directors unanimously voted in 54-year-old President Ramon Laguarta, who will take over on 3 October and will also join the board, according to the company.
The rest of PepsiCo’s senior leadership team will remain unchanged, it said.
Nooyi said she was incredibly proud of what has been achieved over the past 12 years.
“Growing up in India, I never imagined I’d have the opportunity to lead such an company,” Nooyi, one of the world’s most powerful and influential business leaders, said in a statement.
“I’m incredibly proud of all we’ve done over the past 12 years to advance the interests of our stakeholders in the communities we serve. What I admire about our global team is an incredible drive to compete—to be the best, to remain the best,” the Chennai-born executive said on Twitter.
“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,” Nooyi, who steered the company away from its core soda business and led an expansion into soft drinks, snacks, and healthier options, tweeted.
Among the few executives to break the glass ceiling in corporate America, Nooyi had also scripted history by being among the few India-born females to lead a global giant when she took over the reins at PepsiCo.
“Guided by our philosophy of Performance with Purpose—delivering sustained performance while making more nutritious products, limiting our environmental footprint and lifting up all the communities we serve—we’ve made a more meaningful impact in people’s lives than I ever dreamed possible,” she said.