Aug 6, 2018

Indra Nooyi: 'Everybody's watching you'

Indra Nooyi was an unusual presence at the top of the business world. Her mother required her to prepare speeches on important topics of the day; her grandfather, a judge, practised maths problems with Ms Nooyi and her siblings. After various business roles, including at Motorola, Ms Nooyi started her career at Pepsi in 1994, rising to become president and chief financial officer in 2001 and chief executive in 2006. Ms Nooyi, whose tenure coincided with the recession and a backlash against sugar-laden sodas, pushed the company to take on new businesses, expanding into foods perceived as healthier, such as hummus and vegetable chips. When Ms Nooyi steps down in October, there will be about two dozen women at the helm of the largest publicly listed US firms, the S&P 500 companies, according to a list maintained by the non-profit group Catalyst.

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