PepsiCo, on Aug. 14, named Indra Nooyi as its new chief executive, capping a rapid rise to the highest ranks of corporate America for the Indian-born woman. Nooyi, 50, will succeed the 58-year-old Steve Reinemund on October 1st, although Reinemund will keep working for the company until May of next year.
A Madras native and graduate of the Yale School of Management, Nooyi said she was "humbled" to be chosen as CEO by the PepsiCo board after serving since May 2001 as president and chief financial officer.
"I am equally fortunate to have amazing partners, not only on the board and executive team, but in the 157,000 bright, talented colleagues around the world who deliver the results every day and are as committed as I am to continue capturing every growth opportunity," she said in a PepsiCo statement.
Nooyi was the driving force behind a restructuring that saw PepsiCo spin off a range of businesses including the YUM! Brands restaurants and the Pepsi Bottling Group, along with buying Tropicana.
Before joining PepsiCo in 1994 as a senior vice president, Nooyi was head of strategy at ABB. From 1986 to 1990, she was director of corporate strategy at U.S. telecommunications group Motorola. Among a variety of roles outside of PepsiCo, she serves on the board of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, which conducts market operations to set interest rates for the US central bank.
Nooyi will join an exclusive list of women CEOs of top U.S. companies that includes eBay's Meg Whitman, Anne Mulcahy at Xerox and Patricia Woertz with Archer Daniels Midland.
Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2006