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Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Indra Nooyi, superwoman?


In today's article in The Miami Herald, I share with readers a glimpse into the life of a modern day superwoman, Indra Nooyi.

There are many things that fascinate me about Nooyi, CEO and chair of PepsiCo (besides the fact that she's the first at the company to hold these positions) First, although she moves in the world of million-dollar deals and global business, she still considers herself her household's primary caregiver. Nooyi has two daughters, 14 and 23 and in her words, "a supportive husband.''

What I also found interesting was her answer to my question: What keeps you up at night? PepsiCo has 160,000 employees in 190 countries. It is in the midst of a transformation to become more than a soft drink company by offering healthier products. And yet here's what keeps her up at night: "My kids. I worry about my kids," she told me.

Nooyi has assistants, makeup artists, security guards, publicists -- a team of helpers most of us don't have access to on a daily basis. But she's smart enough to know she has to work harder than a man and earn her stripes every day. Perhaps she learned from the fate of former HP CEO Carly Fiorina. When asked what lessons she wants to teach her daughters, her answer was "be humble.'' ‘‘This position can be gone tomorrow, but if the person in you is always the same, you can survive good and bad," she said.

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