SILICON VILLAGE

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Nooyi Rules Out Joining Politics Time to Shift Priorities to Family


Indra Nooyi has ruled out joining politics and will now focus on her family after her long-innings at the world’s second largest food and beverage giant PepsiCo.

PepsiCo announced on Monday that its Board of Directors have unanimously elected Ramon Laguarta, 54, to succeed Indian-origin Nooyi as Chief Executive Officer.

Nooyi, 62, will step down on October 3, after 24 years with the company, the last 12 as CEO. She will remain Chairman until early 2019 to ensure a smooth and seamless transition. Nooyi’s departure in two months will further diminish the already small group of female Fortune 500 CEOs, she is one of just 25.

“It concerns me in that we can actually count how many there are, as opposed to saying there are hundreds,” she told Fortune in an interview.

Nooyi said in the interview that she did not yet know what she wanted to do next, but added that she would not be running for office. “I’m not good at politics,” the Chennai-born said.

“I’m just a good worker bee”, Nooyi, who has not been afraid to get political, said.

After the 2016 US presidential elections, Nooyi had said Democrat Hillary Clinton’s loss to Republican Donald Trump left her daughters and PepsiCo’s employees devastated and there were serious concerns among the company’s workers, especially the non-white employees, about their safety in an America with Trump as its president.

Nooyi said that after her departure from PepsiCo, her focus will be on her family.

Being the CEO of a company is “all consuming,” she said. “When you are the CEO, especially of such a large company, there’s only one priority, and that priority is being CEO. I think my family was short-changed a lot. The last 24 years, the PepsiCo family always came first.”

She added, “Now is the the time to shift my priorities to my family.” Nooyi got married in 1980 to Raj Nooyi, President of AmSoft Systems. They have two daughters.

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