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Pepsi’s Indra Nooyi on CEO Stardom (Wall Street Journal video)

Pespi Chairperson and CEO Indra Nooyi is one of Time magazine’s 100 Most Influential People in 2008. Here’s an interesting profile of her which was written by Starbuck’s Coffee chairman, president and ceo Howard Schultz.:

The most appropriate way to describe Indra Nooyi, chairman and CEO of PepsiCo, is “world class leader.” Her sharp strategic mind, tremendous market insight and humanitarian contributions all combine to make her a rare executive among the global corporate giants. PepsiCo’s international business grew 22% last year, and she is showing the way for American companies trying to do well overseas. (These days, that’s everybody.) Indra, 52, was also way ahead of her competitors in moving the company toward healthier products. She pushed for PepsiCo to buy Quaker Oats and Tropicana, and I wasn’t surprised when PepsiCo removed trans fats from its products well before most other companies did.

I’ve known Indra for the past 10 years or so, ever since Starbucks and PepsiCo began a joint-venture partnership to market and distribute ready-to-drink Starbucks products. I have been particularly impressed by her willingness to do the right thing for her employees and consumers. 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. She welcomes hearing from people who disagree with her, but she is single-minded about following the path she believes is best for her company and its shareholders. Under her direction, I expect that we will see PepsiCo do even more in the future to excite consumers and create a better global community.

Here’s an interesting short Wall Street Journal video of an interview where Nooyi discusses the everyday challenges of being a high profile leader of a large international organization.

About the author

Peter A. Mello, Founder/Editor Founder of Weekly Leader and Sea-Fever Consulting, LLC, a leadership development and strategic communications consultancy. Previously, CEO of an international nonprofit organization and COO of a national insurance/risk management services firm. Peter has been leading people and managing organizations for over 30 years, writes a leadership column for MarineNews magazine and blogs about maritime culture at Sea-Fever. Follow him on Twitter.

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