PepsiCo Names Nooyi CEO

NEW YORK Indra Nooyi, chief financial officer at PepsiCo, has been named chief executive, succeeding Steven Reinemund, who will retire.

Nooyi takes over on Oct. 1. Reinemund will serve as executive chairman and will remain on the board of directors until he retires in May 2007. Richard Goodman, currently CFO for PepsiCo’s international division, will take over from Nooyi.

Reinemund, who has been CEO of the Purchase, N.Y.-based concern since 2001, has been with the company for 22 years.

Nooyi joined Pepsi in 1994. She is the first woman to be appointed to the top job at the beverage giant.

Her ascension also marks another first for Pepsi: She is its first CEO not born in the United States, a company representative said. (Nooyi, an American citizen, was born in India.)

The company spent $1.1 billion in domestic measured media last year, including $385 million on ads for its flagship Pepsi-Cola and related beverage brands, per Nielsen Monitor-Plus. Omnicom Group agencies BBDO, DDB and TBWA\Chiat\Day are all key roster shops. Sibling OMD handles media chores.

Nooyi’s appointment comes after two recent public-relations setbacks for Pepsi in particular and the soft drink industry in general.

At the beginning of August, Pepsi and Coca-Cola were banned from distributing their beverages in several Indian states following concerns over pesticide levels.

In May, Pepsi, Coke and Cadbury Schweppes said they would stop selling soda in elementary and middle schools in the U.S. by 2009, as a response to pressure over rising rates of childhood obesity.

In a statement, outgoing chief Reinemund said: “Indra’s record of transforming PepsiCo speaks for itself, and she has been an invaluable partner and ally throughout my time as CEO. She not only co-authored our vision and drafted our strategic blueprint, she has a sharp talent for turning insightful ideas and plans into realities.”