Leadership - The Indra Nooyi Way

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Case Details:

Case Code : LDEN058
Case Length : 15 Pages
Period : 1994-2008
Pub Date : 2009
Teaching Note :Not Available
Area: Leadership Style
Organization : PepsiCo Incorporated
Industry : Food and Beverage
Countries : US

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This case study was compiled from published sources, and is intended to be used as a basis for class discussion. It is not intended to illustrate either effective or ineffective handling of a management situation. Nor is it a primary information source.

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"Leadership is hard to define and good leadership even harder. But if you can get people to follow you to the ends of the earth, you are a great leader. As a leader, I am tough on myself and I raise the standard for everybody; however, I am very caring because I want people to excel at what they are doing so that they can aspire to be me in the future." 1

- Indra Nooyi in an interview to CNBC, in June 2008.

"As someone who has always aspired to build a company committed to its people and to the world, I admire her determination to achieve sustainability at an established company like PepsiCo. And I believe that all socially responsible companies could learn from Indra Nooyi's style of leadership." 2

- Howard Schultz, President and CEO of Starbucks Coffee Company,3 on presenting Nooyi the 2008 Time 100 award.


Indra Krishnamurthy Nooyi (Nooyi) became the first woman CEO of PepsiCo Incorporated (PepsiCo)4 in 2006 at the age of 50. She was listed among Time magazine's World's 100 Most Influential People in 2008.5

In a poll conducted by Forbes Magazine for the World's 100 Most Powerful Women in 2008, she was ranked Number 3.

In Fortune Magazine's annual ranking of America's leading business women titled 50 Most Powerful Women in Business,6 she was ranked #1 for three successive years in 2006, 2007, and 2008.

Leadership and Entrepreneurship Case Studies | Case Study in Management, Operations, Strategies, Leadership and Entrepreneurship, Case Studies

Nooyi joined PepsiCo as Senior Vice President (SVP), Strategic Planning, in 1994. As SVP, she directed the company's global strategy. She initiated and mapped out a number of PepsiCo's strategic decisions including the spinning off of its restaurant business, the merger with Quaker Oats Company, an American food conglomerate and the acquisition of Tropicana, among other contracts.

In 2000, Nooyi was promoted as PepsiCo's Chief Financial Officer (CFO). She was also provided a seat on the Board of Directors and assigned the additional role of President with associated responsibilities for PepsiCo's corporate functions including finance, strategy, business-process optimization, and information technology.7

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Leadership and Entrepreneurship Case Studies | Case Study in Management, Operations, Strategies, Leadership and Entrepreneurship, Case Studies

1] Simon Hobbs, "Indra Nooyi - Simon Hobbs Meets the Chairman and CEO of PepsiCo," http://cnbceb.com, June 2008.
2] "The 2008 TIME 100 - Builders and Titans," www.time.com, 2008.
3] Starbucks Coffee Company is one of the world's leading coffee chains that had a joint venture with PepsiCo to market and distribute Starbucks products.
4] Headquartered in Purchase, New York, PepsiCo is a multinational snack foods and beverage company, with revenues of US$ 39 billion and over 185,000 employees as of 2008. PepsiCo owned five billion dollar brands namely Pepsi, Tropicana, Frito-Lay, Quaker, and Gatorade.
5] "The 2008 TIME 100 - The Complete List - Builders and Titans," www.time.com, 2008.
6] "50 Most Powerful Women in Business," http://money.cnn.com/magazines/fortune.
7] "Indra Nooyi Named Global CEO of PepsiCo," www.thehindu.com, August 15, 2006.

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