PepsiCo CEO Indra Nooyi '80 Describes 'Performance with Purpose' at Leaders Forum Talk

For Indra Nooyi ’80, Chairman and CEO of PepsiCo, running a global corporation is more than just increasing quarterly profits and maximizing market share. As she explained Feb. 23 at a Leaders Forum lecture, you can’t measure the performance of the company without taking into account its impact on the world. "What can we do to reduce the costs we pass onto society?" she asked.

Nooyi’s response has been Performance with Purpose, a multi-year strategy at PepsiCo designed to balance strong financial returns with giving back to communities worldwide. As she explained to the audience at SOM, the program has three main aims: to increase the number and variety of healthy food choices for consumers, reduce the company’s environmental impact, and promote a diverse and inclusive workplace culture. "The goal is to intimately link what the company can do with what society requires," she said.

Rather than provide a standard lecture, Nooyi had a conversation with Dean Sharon Oster. In addition to discussing PepsiCo’s role in the world, the two talked about the how the company interacts with its critics, how it has responded to a global recession, Nooyi’s approach to leadership, and how she balances her career and family.