PepsiCo's first female CEO is stepping down after 12 years

Spencer Platt/Getty ImagesIndra K. Nooyi, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of PepsiCo., rings the Opening Bell with other executives at the New York Stock Exchange on June 8, 2015 in New York City.
  • Indra Nooyi, PepsiCo’s first female CEO, will step down in October after 12 years at the helm.
  • The company announced Monday that its president, Ramon Laguarta, would be the new chief executive.
  • Laguarta will take over amid a decline in sales of PepsiCo’s signature beverage in North America and as the company focuses on healthier drinks.

PepsiCoCEO Indra Nooyi is stepping down after 12 years, the company announced on Monday.

She will be replaced by the company’s president, Ramon Laguarta, according to a statement. He will be the beverage maker’s sixth CEO.

Nooyi was the first female CEO in the company’s history, and her exit ticks lower the number of women running Fortune 500 companies. At the peak in 2017, 32 Fortune 500 companies – just over 6% – were run by women, the magazine said.

Nooyi’s run will end October 3 after 24 years with Pepsi, and she’ll remain chair of the board through early 2019, the company said.

“Leading PepsiCo has truly been the honour 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 said in a statement.

Before joining Pepsi, Laguarta worked at Chupa Chups, a Spanish confectionary maker.

He’ll be taking over as CEO at a time when sales of Pepsi’s signature beverage are slumping in North America and the company focuses on healthier drinks.

In late 2016, PepsiCo pushed into the bottled-water market by launching Lifewtr, kicking off the debut of the premium brand with a commercial at the 2017 Super Bowl. And in February, the company announced plans to launch a sparkling drink called Bubly, taking on LaCroix.

As chief financial officer, Nooyi led PepsiCo through a restructuring that included the divesture of its restaurants into Yum Brands and a merger with Quaker Oats.

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