Indra Nooyi Retires as Pepsico CEO, Ramon Laguarta Steps Up

By Dave Fusaro, Editor in Chief

Aug 06, 2018

After 24 years with the company and 12 years as CEO, Indra Nooyi, 62, will retire Oct. 3 as CEO of PepsiCo Inc. Ramon Laguarta, 54, current corporate president, will become CEO. Nooyi will remain chairman until early 2019 to ensure a smooth transition.

"Leading PepsiCo has truly been the honor 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," said Nooyi. "Growing up in India, I never imagined I'd have the opportunity to lead such an extraordinary company.

"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."

Nooyi continued: "Ramon Laguarta is exactly the right person to build on our success. He is a terrific executive with a long and proven track record of growing businesses. He has a deep understanding of the changing preferences of consumers and other critical trends unfolding around the world, and he has demonstrated that he knows how to navigate them successfully. Ramon has been a critical partner in running the company, and I'm confident he will take PepsiCo to new and greater heights in the years to come."

Most saw this coming. In July 2017, Laguarta, at the time CEO of PepsiCo's Europe and sub-Saharan Africa business, was named the company's first global president in three years (see story). He has 22 years at PepsiCo. Earlier, he was president of PepsiCo's Eastern Europe region and served in a variety of sales, marketing and other commercial roles across Europe.

Prior to PepsiCo, Laguarta worked for Chupa Chups, a confectionery company based in Spain. He's a native of Barcelona.

Laguarta will become just the sixth CEO in PepsiCo's 53-year history. All have been appointed from within the organization, "a testament to PepsiCo's strong bench of talent and succession planning," the company proclaimed.

Ian Cook, presiding director, said: "As Chairman and CEO, Indra has provided outstanding leadership over the past 12 years, serving as a model both within our industry and beyond for responsible corporate stewardship in the 21st century. She has delivered strong and consistent financial performance, managing with an eye toward not only the short-run, but the long-run as well.

"As CEO, she grew revenue more than 80%, outperforming our peers and adding a new billion-dollar brand almost every other year. And shareholders have benefited: $1,000 invested in PepsiCo in 2006 is worth more than two-and-a-half times that amount today."

Under Nooyi, revenue grew from $35 billion in 2006 to $63.5 billion in 2017, a compound annual growth rate of 5.5%.

The rest of PepsiCo's senior leadership team remains unchanged, the company asserted.