Indra Nooyi, Chairman and CEO
Profile: Indra Nooyi was born in Chennai, India, on Oct. 28, 1955. The 56-year-old Nooyi earned a BS in chemistry, physics and mathematics from Madras Christian College; an MBA from the Indian School of Management in Calcutta and a masters in public and private management from Yale School of Management. She was appointed chairman and CEO of PepsiCo (NYSE:PEP) on Oct. 1, 2006.
The Story: An 18-year PepsiCo veteran, Nooyi has been leading the beverage company’s restructuring. That includes the company’s high-profile spin-off and sale of its Taco Bell, KFC and Pizza Hut restaurants into Tricon Global Restaurants — now known as Yum Brands (NYSE:YUM).
Nooyi, who has a reputation for being a driven and confident leader, presides over PEP’s 22 billion-dollar brands, including Pepsi-Cola, Quaker, Gatorade, Frito-Lay and Tropicana. She also spearheaded PEP’s $13.4 billion acquisition of Quaker Oats as well as the $3.3 billion acquisition of Tropicana.
Recently, she has experienced some reversals. Last year, Coca-Cola’s (NYSE:KO) Diet Coke passed Pepsi as America’s second-most-popular soda. (Coke still holds the No. 1 spot.) Critics also have found fault with the lack of stock-price growth under her tenure.