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Indra Nooyi

The Indian-born American businesswoman was instrumental in the lucrative restructuring and diversification of soft-drink manufacturer PepsiCo, Inc.’s brands. Nooyi served as the company’s CEO (2006–18) and chairman of the board (2007–19). Nooyi was the first woman to lead the soft-drink and snack-food giant and one of only 11 female chief executives of Fortune 500 companies.She became the fifth chairman and CEO in PepsiCo’s 42-year history. Although analysts expressed surprise at the timing of Nooyi’s appointment as chairman (her predecessor, Steven Reinemund, had served just five years before abruptly deciding to retire), many praised the skills that she would bring to the job. Nooyi continued the strategy of making PepsiCo a well-balanced consumer-products company that was less reliant on sales of its flagship soft drinks. She also aggressively pursued international expansion. Under her leadership, PepsiCo’s revenues increased from $35 billion in 2006 to $63.5 billion in 2017.

AAPI TrailBlazers articles are current at the time of publication.

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