Indra Nooyi praised as a pioneer, mentor

Indra Nooyi; photo credit: PepsiCo

“So proud of my sister,” says Nooyi’s sister Chandrika Tandon, describing the outgoing PepsiCo chief “as one of the most spectacular CEOs.”

After spending over 24 years at the food and beverage giant PepsiCo, Indian American Indra Nooyi announced she would be stepping down as CEO and Chairman on October 3.

Her departure was met with waves of kind words and statements of appreciation.

“Nooyi’s a pioneer in so many ways, not the least of which is her candor with which she approached being a CEO and a mom and how hard it is to juggle both,” Jim Cramer, the host of CNBC’s “Mad Money” wrote. We just don’t get a lot of CEOs who own up to how difficult the job is, let alone the travails that a woman CEO has versus a man. Her honesty is part of her incredible strength as a leader of the consumer packaged goods giant.”

RELATED: Indian Indra Nooyi steps down as PepsiCo CEO after 12 years (August 6, 2018)

Nooyi “leaves behind a nimbler company, more responsive to the evolving tastes of its customers,” wrote CNNMoney’s Danielle Wiener-Bronner.

First Daughter Ivanka Trump described Nooyi as a mentor and inspiration to many, herself included.

“The great @IndraNooyi is stepping down as PepsiCo CEO, after 12 yrs,” Trump wrote on Twitter. “Indra, you are a mentor + inspiration to so many, myself included. I am deeply grateful for your friendship. Thank you for your passionate engagement on issues that benefit the people of this country, and beyond.”

Nooyi’s sitter and prominent philanthropist, businesswoman and Grammy-nominated artist Chandrika Tandon praised the outgoing executive.

“So proud of my sister Indra Nooyi who was one of the most spectacular CEOs – stepping down from Pepsico. Love Light Laughter,” Tandon tweeted.

Tandon, who donated $100 million to New York University’s School of Engineering, along with her husband, Ranjan Tandon, in 2015, is the first Indian American woman to serve as partner at McKinsey and Company.

Presiding director of PepsiCo Ian Cook spoke well of Nooyi’s tenure as CEO, stating, “As CEO, she grew revenue more than 80%, outperforming our peers and adding a new billion-dollar brand almost every other year. And shareholders have benefited: $1,000 invested in PepsiCo in 2006 is worth more than two-and-a-half times that amount today.”

READ: Indian American couple gifts $100 million to NYU School of Engineering (October 6, 2015)

Praised for her leadership and strategic thinking and credited for transforming and saving the corporation, Nooyi has left a lasting impact on Pepsico. As Cook adds, “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.”

Nooyi’s departure also triggered a debate on the vanishing breed of female CEOs. With her departure, there are just 24 women leading Fortune 500 companies, compared to just over a year ago when there were 32 women leading Fortune 500 companies.

With the departures of several high-profile women CEOs over the past year, including the likes of Marissa Mayer at Yahoo, Irene Rosenfeld at Mondelez, Meg Whitman of Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE), and now Indra Nooyi at Pepsico, the job of female chief executive is looking even lonelier.

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