NEW YORK: Chennai-born and educated, Indra Krishnamurthy Nooyi, who was Chief Executive of PepsiCo will step down after 12 years leading the food and beverage giant, ending a tenure marked by efforts to adapt to changing consumer tastes and fending off pressure from activist investors.
President Ramon Laguarta, 54, will succeed the 62-year-old Nooyi, becoming Pepsi's sixth CEO.
PepsiCo’s revenue increased 81% during her tenure to $63.5 billion last year, but more recently executives have pledged to ramp up advertising as its core soda brands lost market share.
Nooyi will step down Oct. 3 after serving 24 years with the company and will remain chairman until early 2019, the company said. Her departure also leaves only one woman of color among Fortune 500 CEOs.
Laguarta, who starts on Oct. 3, will be tasked with managing the company’s response as consumer tastes move away from sugary drinks.
"Growing up in India, I never imagined I'd have the opportunity to lead such an extraordinary company," Nooyi said in a statement. "PepsiCo today is in a strong position for continued growth with its brightest days still ahead."