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PepsiCo Shares Climbing Following News of New Chief Executive

A CEO shakeup at PepsiCo has been well-received on Wall Street.

PepsiCo shares are up 1.5% to $118.15 in early trading on Monday. The jump came after PepsiCo announced that the company had elected Ramon Laguarta as its next chief executive. The current chief, Indra Nooyi, is expected to step down on Oct. 3. Nooyi, who has been with PepsiCo for 24 years and has served as its chief executive for more than a decade, will stay on as the company’s chairman into early 2019.

The move came as a surprise to some. Nooyi is one of the more effective CEOs in the industry and has enjoyed major success during her tenure. She has delivered shareholder returns of 162% during her time and tripled dividends. She’s also returned nearly $80 million in cash to investors through dividends and share repurchases.

One of Nooyi’s most important initiatives was Performance with Purpose, a program that aimed at growing the company while offering products that were more nutritious and better for the environment.

Shares are likely up on Monday in part because of Nooyi’s own endorsement of Laguarta. In a statement, Nooyi said Laguarta is “exactly the right person” for the job. He’s been with PepsiCo for 22 years and most recently served as company President. He’ll be just the sixth CEO in PepsiCo history.