NEW YORK -- PepsiCo Inc. said yesterday that chief financial officer Indra K. Nooyi will replace Steven Reinemund as chief executive of the soft-drink and snacks company, making her the number two female chief executive in the Fortune 500.
With her Oct. 1 appointment, Nooyi takes her place in an elite group of 11 female CEOs running Fortune 500 companies. Patricia Woertz at agricultural processor Archer Daniels Midland Co. ranks first. ADM is ranked 56th in the Fortune 500, while PepsiCo, the world's second-largest soft-drink company after Coca-Cola Co., is ranked 61st.
``I'm very excited and at the same time very humbled," Nooyi told analysts during a conference call yesterday morning.
Nooyi said she feels fortunate to be taking over a time when PepsiCo is in such strong position, with solid growth across all its business units. She and Reinemund have worked closely over the last five years, and Nooyi described their relationship as one in which they complete each other's sentences.
Reinemund was a driving force in diversifying PepsiCo's product portfolio into healthier foods, Bank of America analyst Bryan Spillane wrote. The company's growth has been buoyed by strength in noncarbonated beverages and in international markets, moving its focus away from the flagship cola products. Sales of noncarbonated drinks, such as Aquafina water and Gatorade, surged 23 percent in North America in the most recent quarter.
Reinemund, 58, who said he is retiring to spend more time with his family, will continue as chairman until May . He has worked for PepsiCo for 22 years, serving as chairman and CEO for five.
Nooyi, 50, has been with the company since 1994 and has been CFO since 2001. She will be the fifth CEO in PepsiCo's 41-year history.