Nooyi led Pepsi to become one of the most successful food and beverage companies in the world.
PepsiCo Inc said on Monday Indra Nooyi would step down as chief executive officer after 12 years at the helm and named President Ramon Laguarta as her replacement. "PepsiCo today is in a strong position for continued growth with its brightest days still ahead", she added.
"Ramon Laguarta's unanimous appointment follows a systematic and thorough succession process by the Board of Directors".
She is also one of the few minority women to lead major corporations, and her departure sheds new light on the absence of women - and particularly women of color - in some of America's most high-profile corporate roles.
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"Indra has provided outstanding leadership over the past 12 years, serving as a model both within our industry and beyond for responsible corporate stewardship in the 21st century", said presiding director Ian Cook.
Climbing up the ladder at PepsiCo was not easy but steady results in successive junctures made Nooyi prevail.
"I'm proud of all we've done to position PepsiCo for success, confident that Ramon and his senior leadership team will continue prudently balancing short-term and long-term priorities", said Nooyi.
Fortune credits Nooyi with moving PepsiCo's portfolio towards healthier fare: and PepsiCo has grown its portfolio of "Good for You" and "Better for You" options from about 38% of revenue in 2006 to roughly 50% in 2017.