PepsiCo (NASDAQ: PEP) Chief Executive Officer Indra Nooyi will step down after 12 years of leading the food and beverage giant, remaining as chairwoman of the board of directors until early 2019.
President Ramon Laguarta will succeed Nooyi effective October 3, becoming Pepsi’s sixth Chief Executive Officer.
"Growing up in India, I never imagined I'd have the opportunity to lead such an extraordinary company," Nooyi said in a statement. "PepsiCo today is in a strong position for continued growth with its brightest days still ahead."
Pepsi stock gained cumulatively 79% since she assumed the CEO role in October 2006, according to FactSet. That's less than both the S&P 500, which gained 112%, and Coca-Cola, which gained 108%. It grew net revenue from USD 35 Billion in 2006 to USD 63.5 Billion in 2017.
Nooyi is the second female Chief Executive Officer of a food and beverage company to leave the post since May, following Campbell Soup's Denise Morrison. She is also the latest in a growing list of departures of chief executives across the food and beverage industry, as it faces the unprecedented challenge of remaking decades-old companies under the glare of the public eye.
Laguarta, a 22-year veteran of the Company, has been president since September, overseeing global operations, corporate strategy, public policy and government affairs. Prior to that, Laguarta served in leadership positions in the European and sub-Saharan Africa divisions.
The international markets have been a strong point for Pepsi amid slowing growth and tougher retailers in countries like the U.S. Pepsi this quarter reported 7% organic revenue growth in Europe Sub-Saharan Africa and 6% growth in Asia, Middle East & North Africa.
With Nooyi's departure, the rest of PepsiCo's senior leadership team will remain unchanged, the Company said.