Indra Nooyi joins Donald Trump’s Business Council

Nooyi one of 3 female CEOs on 19-person forum.

PepsiCo CEO Indra Nooyi has become the third female executive to join a 19-person business forum created by President-elect Donald Trump as he prepares his economic agenda for the United States.

Trump’s team on Wednesday announced that three additional members would join the new president’s Strategic and Policy Forum—a group of business leaders who can be called upon to meet with Trump frequently as he implements his economic strategy, reported Fortune.

The initial round of 16 members included just two women: General Motors chairman and CEO Mary Barra and IBM chairman, president and CEO Ginni Rometty.

All three rank high on Fortune’s most recent Most Powerful Women list. Barra repeated as the most powerful woman in 2016, while Nooyi is second and Rometty ranked fourth.

The inclusion of Nooyi on the expanded business policy council (Uber Technologies CEO Travis Kalanick and Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk were also added) is interesting as Nooyi generated headlines last month for comments she made in the wake of Trump’s victory, reported Fortune.

Indra Nooyi; photo credit:
Indra Nooyi; photo credit:

After Nooyi appeared at a post-election New York Times conference, online boycotts began to float around alleging she said she “loathed” Trump and “hated” his supporters. As those boycotts began to circulate on social media channels, a #BoycottPepsi hashtag circulated.

The Daily Mail reported Nooyi herself expressed a desire for unity during the New York Times event, hoping aloud that Trump’s confrontational campaign style might melt in the bright lights of Oval Office scrutiny.

“I’m sincerely hoping, based on the talk we heard from our president-elect the day after the election, that what we heard before the election and what we are really going to see in action are quite different, and it’s much more measured,” she said.

However, Fortune reported Nooyi never made those comments. In fact, she congratulated Trump on the election, adding “We should mourn for those of us who supported the other side. But we have to come together and life has to go on.”

Nooyi never backed a presidential candidate and never personally gave money to either campaign. She did vote, but hasn’t disclosed how she voted.


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