By Neil Saunders
Over the past five years, the market for CPG goods has been extremely challenging, especially for the larger players. Many have seen market share fall and their revenue and profits suffer. However, Indra Nooyi has managed to steer PepsiCo through the turbulent waters and, when she steps down, will leave a company stronger than the one she inherited 12 years ago.
As much as the departure of Nooyi is a loss for PepsiCo, she leaves behind a strong team and a clear vision.
Nooyi’s smart thinking and her sound vision for PepsiCo is the key reason that the company has scored so many successes, from seeing off activist investors to its expansion in overseas markets. However, it was her insistence on building up and maintaining a strong snack business that was most prescient. With demand for soda under pressure, PepsiCo can now take comfort in the fact that it has a balanced portfolio of products – including in emerging areas like plant-based snacks from its recent acquisition of Bare Foods.
As much as the departure of Nooyi is a loss for PepsiCo, she leaves behind a strong team and a clear vision. These should serve the company well in the years ahead. Her successor, Ramon Laguarta is also well versed in PepsiCo and has direct experience of areas such as corporate strategy and overseas expansion – both of which will be vital to the firm’s continued success.
Neil Saunders is managing director of research firm GlobalData Retail.