PepsiCo CEO Indra Nooyi
Photograph by Adam Jeffery — CNBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images
By Benjamin Snyder
June 7, 2015

PepsiCo‘s CEO Indra Nooyi made the right bet on getting her company to produce snacks and drinks with the health-conscious in mind years ago. Her tenure hasn’t always been smooth, however. Fortune’s Jennifer Reingold profiled Nooyi for the new Fortune 500 issue.

Here are seven quotes that illustrate her leadership qualities:

1. She isn’t afraid to get dirty in a supermarket that sells Pepsi products. Nooyi also is unafraid to ask uncomfortable questions: “Do they bring a guy to carry this out? Hello? Hello? You need a forklift. Maybe because it’s inexpensive [$3.99], people are going to go through the hell, but we should watch out.”

2. She’s a perfectionist, a quality she brings to her leadership: “We ought to keep pushing the boundaries to get to flawless execution. Flawless is the ultimate goal.”

3. She even has a slogan: “Performance with purpose.”

4. Nooyi has been vocal about the importance of health. She said that it’s up to Pepsi to help solve “one of the world’s biggest public health challenges, a challenge fundamentally linked to our industry: obesity.”

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5. She’s invested heavily in research and development as well. In fact, Pepsi is developing a 3-D printed potato chip. “We have patents on the design, the cutter, the mouth experience,” according to Dr. Mehmood Khan, Pepsi’s chief scientific officer. “This is multiple layers of IP.”

6. She challenges standards of health food on the market as almost hypocritical: “The consumer has turned the definition [of healthy] upside down. “If it is non-GMO, natural, or organic, but high in sodium and high in sugar and fat, it’s okay.”

7. And while she’s demanding, she’s realistic: “I wouldn’t ask anyone to do anything I wouldn’t do myself.”

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