PepsiCo’s Indra Nooyi 2nd most powerful woman in Fortune list

NEW YORK: PepsiCo CEO and chairman Indra Nooyi is the only Indian-origin woman in Fortune’s 51 Most Powerful Women list that is topped by Mary Barra, CEO and chairman of General Motors.

Nooyi was ranked second on the list, same as 2015. In 2014, she was ranked third.

The list comprises 22 CEOs of major companies and many more corner office contenders across industries. The 2016 list has nine newcomers and one return candidate.

On Nooyi, who is now in her 10th year as CEO, Fortune said she “shows no signs of slowing down”.

Over the past 12 months, PepsiCo’s market capitalisation has increased 18 per cent to $155 billion, even as international volatility hit 2015 earnings. PepsiCo’s 2015 sales dropped 5 per cent, while its profits declined 13 per cent.

“Investors seem to have faith that Nooyi’s push towards healthier food and drink offerings will pay off, and they like the $63 billion company’s $3 billion cost cut over the past three years too,” Fortune said adding that some think more acquisitions in the health space may come soon, as Nooyi further diversifies out of the declining soda category.

Mary Barra retained the Fortune’s Most Powerful Woman tag after a year of “dramatic improvement” at the $152.4 billion in revenues of the auto giant.

“She ably steered GM through the ignition switch crisis that hit in 2014, made the tough decision to end operations in Russia, and invested in ride-sharing company Lyft… and she posted record profits in 2015 of USD 9.7 billion,” Fortune added.

The top 10 most powerful women in the list also include, Marillyn Hewson of Lockheed Martin at the third place; Ginni Rometty of IBM (4th); Abigail Johnson of Fidelity Investments (5th); Facebook’s COO Sheryl Sandberg (6th); Meg Whitman of Hewlett Packard Enterprise (7th); General Dynamics’ Phebe Novakovic (8th); Irene Rosenfeld of Mondelez International (9th) and Safra Catz Co-CEO, Oracle at the 10th place.

Singing diva Beyonce was ranked at the 51st place on the coveted list.

“Not only did she make music history by becoming the first female artist to have 12 songs on the Billboard top 100 (all on her sixth album, Lemonade), but she also made waves in the business world too,” Fortune said.
In April she launched the athleisure clothing brand Ivy Park. “While the venture is her first major foray outside the music world, Beyonce is no stranger to being the boss,” Fortune said.