Indra Nooyi: The accidental CEO; here’s how she became PepsiCo firebrand without planning

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Updated: February 26, 2019 12:29:38 PM

Indra Nooyi, who rose through the ranks to become the top boss of one of the world’s most influential brands, never did chalk out her career and had once admitted that one thing led to another.

Indra Nooyi has become a member of the Amazon board.

Indra Nooyi, the lady of the hour, has come a long way since joining PepsiCo in 1994 and becoming its CEO just 12 years later. Now, Indra Nooyi has taken a seat on the board of Amazon — one of the world’s most valuable firms, and the world’s largest e-commerce company.

Indra Nooyi, who rose through the ranks to become the top boss of one of the world’s most influential brands, never did chalk out her career and had once admitted that one thing led to another.

“I didn’t think I’ll be a CEO. There wasn’t a plan to be a CEO, the plan was to just keep doing a very good job and making sure that the company was in a good place,” Nooyi had said in a radio interview in 2017.

The position never comes easy, Nooyi said. There is tough competition, another CEO who is in the limelight, and big decisions to be taken for the firm. “It is a daunting job to be a CEO,” Indra Nooyi told Freakonomics Radio in 2017.

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Nooyi started her career in India with Johnson and Johnson. After moving to the United States, she got a master’s degree from the prestigious Yale School of Management in 1980. A chief strategist for PepsiCo, she led the company to acquire Tropicana in 1998 and Quaker Oats a year later. In 2006, Nooyi became the first woman to become CEO of a public company in the US. She left the PepsiCo last year.

Now, she is a part of the 11 member committee at Amazon, which includes Amazon founder Jeff Bezos. Indra Nooyi will join Amazon’s audit committee. She will be the fifth woman to be on-board and second person of colour in the committee.

She has been a constant in the world’s most powerful 100 women. Nooyi has won many prestigious awards in the past, including Padma Bhushan in 2007, which was awarded by the government of India. She also won CNN-IBN Indian of the year Global Indian award.

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