PepsiCo CEO Indra Nooyi ’80 on Her Yale SOM Education

In an interview published in the MBA-focused website Poets & Quants on September 3, Indra Nooyi ’80, the CEO and chairman of PepsiCo, remembers how Yale SOM shaped her thinking.

A member of the school’s third class, Nooyi says that its emphasis on cross-sectoral management and societal impact was formative for her.

Yale did a great job of opening our minds to, “You can go and change the world in any way you want.” They also emphasized for us the linkage between business and society. Even today, whenever I approach a business issue, I think about these questions: What is the impact on employees? What is the impact on communities? What is the impact on society at large? All of that came from my two years at SOM. Going through as many diverse cases as we did, in every case we were thinking about the holistic impact on society. It gives you a different sensitivity and sensibility.

Nooyi also discusses Yale SOM’s early faculty, its close-knit culture, and her continuing connection to the school.

“I had a special experience at SOM. I feel it is my school,” she says. “There is something about the school. I don’t know how to explain it. It has a soul.”

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