PepsiCo CEO Indra Nooyi is stepping down as CEO on Oct. 3, and her No. 2, Ramón Laguarta, will be stepping into her shoes, the company said on Monday.
The parent company of Pepsi, Frito-Lay, Tropicana, Gatorade, and Quaker, PepsiCo has been under Nooyi’s leadership for 12 years, during which time revenue has gone up 80%. In its 53-year-long history, Pepsi has only ever appointed CEOs from within the organization.
Here are five things you need to know about Ramón Laguarta:
The future CEO is well versed in PepsiCo
Laguarta, who is from Barcelona, has been at PepsiCo for 22 years. Previous roles include CEO, Europe Sub-Saharan Africa, president, PepsiCo Eastern Europe Region; commercial vice president for PepsiCo Europe; general manager for Iberia Snacks and Juices; and general manager for Greece Snacks.
Laguarta previously worked for Chupa Chups, S.A.
He held several international roles in Europe and the U.S. whilst at the confectionery brand, most famous for its lollipops. Founded in Spain, it is today owned by Italian-Dutch multinational Perfetti Van Melle.
He studied in the U.S. and speaks multiple languages
Laguarta has a master’s degree in International Management from Thunderbird School of Global Management at Arizona State University, as well as an MBA from ESADE Business School in Barcelona. He speaks English, Spanish, French, German, and Greek.
Laguarta taking over as CEO further diminishes the number of minorities running Fortune 500 companies
Outgoing CEO Nooyi, originally from India, was one of the few minority women CEOs in the U.S. “Growing up in India, I never imagined I’d have the opportunity to lead such an extraordinary company,” she said in a statement, according to PepsiCo. The CEOs of the world’s biggest companies remain largely white and male.
Laguarta is highly lauded by Nooyi as ‘exactly the right person to build on our success’
Nooyi has every faith in her successor, saying in her PepsiCo statement: “He is a terrific executive with a long and proven track record of growing businesses. He has a deep understanding of the changing preferences of consumers and other critical trends unfolding around the world.”