USA – Leading food and beverages company PepsiCo Inc. has announced that its Board of Directors has unanimously elected Ramon Laguarta as new chief executive (CEO) effective 3 October, succeeding Indra K. Nooyi who will be stepping down from the role.

After 24 years with the company, the last twelve years as CEO, the company said Nooyi will remain Chairman until early 2019 to ensure a smooth and seamless transition.

Nooyi is hailed for a strong and consistent financial performance managingtotal shareholder return of 162% through December 31, 2017.

She has also been hailed as a ‘pioneer’ by the company for her focus on new product innovations and sustainability, areas PepsiCo has become a leading light around the world.

Laguarta, who has held a number of executive and general management roles in his 22 years at PepsiCo will become the sixth CEO in PepsiCo’s 53-year history, giving him an opportunity to join the company’s Board of Directors.

Prior to the appointment, he was President of PepsiCo in charge of global operations, corporate strategy, public policy and government affairs.

He also served as CEO Europe, Sub-Saharan Africa, President PepsiCo Eastern Europe region and in a variety of sales, marketing and other commercial roles across Europe.

His career in the food and beverage industry includes years of experience from Chupa Chups S.A., both in Europe and the U.S.

“I’m incredibly humbled and privileged to be appointed the next CEO of PepsiCo, and I want to thank the Board of Directors for the confidence they have placed in me with their decision,” said Laguarta.


Building a strong brand

Under her tenure, PepsiCo is said to have recorded net revenue growth from US$35 billion in 2006 to US$63.5 billion in 2017, a compound annual growth rate of 5.5%.

Total cash returned to shareholders through dividends and share repurchases were reported at US$79.4 billion since the beginning of 2006 through the end of 2017, while dividends per share nearly tripled from US$1.16 in 2006 to US$3.17 in 2017.

PepsiCo says that she helped the company grow its portfolio of healthier product options from about 38% of revenue in 2006 to roughly 50% in 2017, as beverage makers struggle with meeting new consumer and regulatory headaches, from sugar bans to changing tastes and preferences.

During her tenure, PepsiCo almost tripled its investments in research and development to expand its more nutritious offerings and minimize its environmental impact, and achieved global recognition for the company’s work in communities around the world.

“Indra has invested for the future, leading the way on corporate sustainability and responsibility, and embedding a sense of purpose in everything the company does.

As one of the first Fortune 100 CEOs to embed sustainability targets into business operations, Indra was a pioneer, paving the way for a new generation of business leaders who seek to ‘do well by doing good,” said PepsiCo’s presiding director Ian Cook.