PepsiCo’s chief executive officer will step down from her position as CEO of a Fortune 500 company on Oct. 3.
Indra Nooyi, 62, will continue her 24-year relationship with Pepsi as the chairwoman of its board of directors until 2019, CNN Money reported Monday.
“Growing up in India, I never imagined I’d have the opportunity to lead such an extraordinary company,” Nooyi said, according to CNN Money.
Pepsi sales have increased by 80 percent during her 12 years of executive leadership. (RELATED: How Pepsi Alienated The Entire Country With One Ad)
The number of female Fortune 500 CEOs is now down to 24 women with the announcement of Nooyi’s upcoming departure. That number has dropped since 2017, where previously 32 women held the highest position in the corporate ladder, according to CNN Money. Other female CEOs that have recently left include Marissa Mayer from Yahoo, Irene Rosenfeld from Mondelez and Meg Whitman from Packard Enterprise.
However, the number of women that leave CEO positions are not disproportionate to the number of men who also leave, according to The Wall Street Journal, which cites Equilar, a research firm that tracks the hiring and firing of executives.
A study done by researchers at Utah State University suggest that when a company is facing an internal crisis that requires new leadership, women are more likely than men to be hired as CEO. This brings an immediate work challenge and could possibly be a contributing factor as to why they leave, The Wall Street Journal reported in May.
Nooyi’s successor will be Ramon Laguarta, a native of Spain, that has served as president of PepsiCo since 2017, according to CNN Money.
Nooyi is in support of her replacement and said he is “exactly the right person to build on our success.”
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