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PepsiCo CEO Indra Nooyi said yesterday that she will step down after 12 years in the job, effective October 3; she will remain as chairman of the company through early next year.

Ramon Laguarta, the company’s president, has been named the company’s new CEO.

CNBC provides some context for Nooyi’s tenure, writing that Pepsi “faced challenges from upstart brands that continue to threaten its market share, including once-dominant drinks like Gatorade. Pepsi's North American beverage business has been more challenged than its stalwart snacking business, continuing to provoke questions about whether the giant would consider splitting the two … Under Nooyi, Pepsi steadfastly kept the two businesses together, arguing in favor of the combined leverage it gives the company over retailers. It sought to revive its North American drink business by throwing more support behind its core brands. It said it erred in giving up prime shelf space in favor of supporting its younger drinks and lagging behind Coca-Cola in advertising spend.

“Efforts to reinvigorate its largest brands include its Pepsi Generation advertising campaign, the re-release of Mountain Dew Baja Blast and the launch of calorie-free Gatorade Zero. It has also continued to support its snack business, announcing in May the acquisition of baked fruit and vegetable company Bare Foods. The deal may also serve as a building base for the broader business of plant-based snacks.”
KC's View:
I thought it was interesting - though not completely surprising - when the New York Times reported that “only three times in history has a woman succeeded another woman as chief executive at a public traded company.” In other words, there are times that the glass ceiling grows thicker and wider.

The Wall Street Journal asked Nooyi about this, and she said that it only is temporary …. that “it’s going to take a while to prime the pump. Because you know people like [former Mondelez CEO] Irene Rosenfeld and myself and [former Campbell Soup CEO] Denise Morrison came from the old school. And then what we’re all doing is priming the pump. We’re hiring more people at the entry level. We are accelerating the development. So I think in the next five to 10 years we should see a big cohort of women coming through the C-suite.”

Hope she’s right.