Corvinus Executive MBA

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Decisiveness Award: Indra Nooyi

2015. április 27. - Kevin Jackson

The CEOs of companies both big and small are constantly faced with uncertainty regarding the future of their businesses. It is no easy task to keep employees and shareholders happy at the same time. What makes a CEO extraordinary is their ability to not only lay out the company’s vision, but motivate all stakeholders to continuously embrace this vision. Decisiveness is an incredibly important attribute for a CEO because it must come from a deep understanding of the bigger picture. Indra Nooyi became the CEO of Pepsi in 2006 and her decisiveness is a key reason why the company is so successful today.

In 2010, Indra launched Pepsi’s long-term strategy called “Performance with Purpose.” The first main pillar of this strategy is human sustainability, which refers to the need for Pepsi to shift its entire range of beverages and foods towards healthier consumption. The second pillar is environmental sustainability that involves finding innovative ways to both cut costs and to minimize impact on the environment. The final pillar is talent sustainability and how to create a global working culture that is nurturing for employees and respectful to the markets it is serving. With over 300,000 Pepsi employees scattered around the globe, this is quite a challenge. 

Despite challenging conditions from around the world, Pepsi just posted solid results for the first quarter of 2015. This achievement is directly related to Indra’s ability to anticipate megatrends and shape Pepsi’s portfolio accordingly on a global scale. Since she grew up outside of the United States, Indra already had a far more global understanding of the world than the traditional white, male CEO. There is no doubt that she is a model for not just women leaders, but for the next generation of CEOs that can understand tomorrow’s world today.

Decisiveness is not something that is exercised once in a while. It is something that must remain a constant to support a successful a long-term vision. When Indra Nooyi created “Performance with Purpose”, she made it clear to her employees, shareholders, and customers what kind of company Pepsi must become in order to be successful in the future. The Decisiveness Award goes to Indra Nooyi for her unwavering belief in her vision and her ability to execute this vision on all levels.

For more information on Leadership, please refer to the following articles:

Indra Nooyi: The secret to Pepsi's innovation, CNBC, Abigail Stevenson, March 9th, 2015

Indra Nooyi Leadership Lessons: Head, Heart, Hands, Enactus, January 2, 2014 

"IT'S GOT TO BE A PASSION, IT'S GOTTA BE YOUR CALLING": INDRA NOOYI, Fast Company, Robert Safian, October 14, 2014


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