Indra Nooyi – First female Chairperson and CEO of PepsiCo

Indra Nooyi is the first female chairman and Chief Executive Officer of PepsiCo. which is the second largest food and beverage companies in the world. Her appointment to this position saw her become one of the most influential Indian-American businesswomen in America. Born on 28th October 1955 in Chennai, India, Indra only immigrated to America to attend graduate school at Yale University. Having completed high school education, she attended Madras Christian College where she attained her Bachelor’s Degree in 1974. Her degree majors were in Physics, Mathematics and Chemistry. In 1976, while still in India, she attained a Postgraduate Diploma in Management from the Indian institute if Management Calcutta. In 1978, she moved to USA to study for her Master’s degree at Yale University. She successfully graduated from the Yale School of Management in 1980 with a Master’s degree in Public and Private Management.

PepsiCo Brand Products
Image: PepsiCo Brand Products

Her extensive work experience started in India after her postgraduate diploma. She worked for Johnson & Johnson as a product manager. She held the same position in Mettur Beardshell, a textile firm in India. In America, she joined the Boston Consulting group after graduating with her masters where she was responsible for directing international corporate strategies. She later worked at Motorola where started as business development executive and later promoted to the strategic position of the Vice President and Director of corporate strategy and planning. She later moved to Asea Broen Boveri as Senior Vice president of strategy and strategic marketing a position she held for four years.

Indra Nooyi joined PepsiCo in 1994 as a Senior Vice President of strategic planning, corporate strategy and development. In 2000, she was promoted to the Vice President position. A year later, she was serving a higher position as the President and Chief Finance Officer. Her successful leadership saw the company make great profits, and in 2007 she earned the coveted position of the CEO of PepsiCo. Today, She also serves as the chair of the Board of Directors and President of PepsiCo.

Her years of international business experience have seen her transform PepsiCo towards healthier brands and products through acquisitions. Initially many doubted her health-conscious strategy but through the years, PepsiCo has successfully invested in a healthier future with an astounding variety of beverages and snack foods. Indra Nooyi’s tenure at PepsiCo has seen her exhibit impressive deal making talents. For instance, she oversaw her company through one of the biggest food deals when it acquired Quacker Oats adding a huge range of cereals and snack food products.

Indra Nooyi serves as a member of the Board of Directors of International Rescue committee, Motorola and the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. Additionally, she is the director of the US Soccer Federation Inc, US- India Business Council, Catalyst Inc., and Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, Inc. She also serves on the Board of Trustees of the Eisenhower Fellowship and the Yale Corporation. Finally, Indra Nooyi is married to Raj K. Nooyi and they have two daughters. She loves music and enjoys playing guitar, a passion she pursued when she was younger by heading an all–girl rock band in her college years.

Image Credit: Fortune Inc