PepsiCo Elects CEO Ramon Laguarta as Board Chairman
PepsiCo Inc.’s board of directors has unanimously elected the company’s CEO, Ramon Laguarta, as its chairman, succeeding Indra K. Nooyi who revealed in August 2018 that she would step down as PepsiCo CEO effective Oct. 3, 2018, but would remain chairman until early 2019 to ensure a smooth transition. The chairman appointment is effective when Nooyi retires from the company on Feb. 1.
Laguarta will become the sixth chairman and CEO in PepsiCo’s 53-year history, succeeding Nooyi, Steve Reinemund, Roger A. Enrico, Wayne D. Calloway and Donald M. Kendall. Herman W. Lay was PepsiCo’s first chairman, while Kendall was CEO.
“I am honored to take on this important post and want to thank the board for the confidence they have placed in me,” said Laguarta, a 22-year veteran of the company who has held various leadership roles during his tenure. “I also want to thank Indra for her outstanding leadership and tireless work on behalf of PepsiCo. I look forward to building on the strong legacy she and our previous leaders have created, and to working with our very talented global team to position PepsiCo for our next phase of growth.”
Before becoming CEO, Laguarta was president of PepsiCo, with responsibility for shaping the company’s corporate strategy, working closely with business units to deliver top-line growth, driving productivity to enable this growth, and investing in new areas of disruptive innovation. In this role, he oversaw PepsiCo's global category groups; global operations, corporate strategy, and public policy and government affairs functions; and the PepsiCo Foundation. Earlier, Laguarta was CEO, Europe Sub-Saharan Africa, with operations spanning three continents and encompassing developed, developing and emerging markets. Before that, he was president, PepsiCo Eastern Europe region and held a range of sales, marketing and other commercial roles across Europe.
Speaking on behalf the board, Presiding Director Ian Cook said that Laguarta “is an outstanding leader with a compelling vision for PepsiCo and a keen understanding of the evolving needs of consumers around the world. His vast PepsiCo knowledge, combined with his innovative thinking and proven executional excellence, make him the ideal steward to take on this most important role and lead our company into the future.”
Cook went on to “sincerely thank Indra for her leadership and commitment over the last 24 years, for paving the way for future leaders to ‘do well by doing good,’ and for making PepsiCo one of the world’s most ethical and admired companies. She proved that it is possible to deliver extraordinary and consistent financial performance while making a difference in the world around us, and leaves a lasting legacy."
Having joined the company in 1994, Nooyi has been PepsiCo’s chairman since 2007 and was CEO for 12 years. Before becoming CEO, she was president and CFO from 2001, when she was also named to the board of directors.
The complementary food and beverage portfolio of Purchase, N.Y.-based PepsiCo includes Frito-Lay, Gatorade, Pepsi-Cola, Quaker and Tropicana.