Westchester’s Most Influential Women: Indra Nooyi

the brand builder
Indra Nooyi

Photo courtesy of PepsiCo

There aren’t too many women CEOs of behemoth international companies, nor are there many women who head corporate boards. As the chairwoman and CEO of PepsiCo Inc., headquartered in Purchase, one of the largest and most profitable food and beverage companies in the world, Indra Nooyi is among the very few women who hold both positions. Her influence?

Let’s see: Billions of people around the world drink Pepsi. Millions more buy PepsiCo’s many other products from flagship brands Pepsi-Cola, Gatorade, Tropicana, Quaker, and Frito-Lay. Indeed, PepsiCo has 22 brands that generate more than $1 billion each in annual retail sales and approximately $66 billion in annual revenues. The company employs almost 200,000 people in nearly 200 countries. Since becoming PepsiCo’s CEO, Nooyi has shaped some of the industry’s most successful new product launches, including Trop50 (which is expected to generate $300 million a year in sales after only three years on the market), Pepsi NEXT (lauched in March of 2012), and Quaker Real Medleys (launched in April of 2012.) “The greatest challenge in business today is to renew a successful company—positioning it for long-term growth and profitability while performing in the current marketplace,” Nooyi says.

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Fortune magazine has named her one of 2012’s Most Powerful Women in Business, second only to IBM’s Ginni Rometty (see page 77). “Indra is one of the most powerful women in the global business community,” says John Sicher, editor and publisher of Beverage Digest. “She was chosen to run PepsiCo, in part because she is a change agent, and she is working to position PepsiCo for a future of strong growth.”

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