PepsiCo Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Indra Nooyi, who has been speculated to be among the possible candidates to succeed Ratan Tata as chairman of the Tata group, has ruled herself out of the race saying she “loves” her present job.
“Ratan is an unbelievable person. He has got an incredible stable of people who can succeed him. I am running one of the greatest companies in the world, PepsiCo. I love my job,” Ms. Nooyi told PTI when asked about the speculation linking her to the top job at the $71 billion Indian salt-to-software conglomerate.
‘Face of India’
The Chennai-born chief of the world's leading company in convenient snacks, foods and beverages, with revenues of more than $60 billion and over 285,000 employees, however, was all praise for the group.
“Tata is an unbelievable company. It is a nation-building enterprise, a phenomenal enterprise, the face of India,” she said.
While Ratan Tata's 52-year-old half brother Noel Tata has been speculated to be the front-runner, Ms. Nooyi and another global business leader, Carlos Ghosn, the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Renault-Nissan Alliance, have been mentioned as suitable candidates.
Earlier this month, the group had announced that a successor would be in place by February-March next year.
It formed a five-member search panel that includes Tata Sons Vice Chairman N.A. Soonawala, senior group directors R.K. Krishnakumar and Cyrus Mistry, group adviser and lawyer Shirin Bharucha, and British businessman Lord Bhattacharya.
Set to retire by the end of 2012, when he turns 75, Tata is responsible for turning the group global after he took over as chairman of the conglomerate in 1991 from J.R.D. Tata.
Although the group is more than a century-old, founded by Jamsetji Tata in 1868 when he set up a private trading firm, it was only in 2006 that it earned major global recognition when Ratan Tata spearheaded the buyout of Anglo-Dutch steel maker Corus for about $12 billion.
Tata followed this up with another big ticket purchase of iconic British luxury car marque Jaguar Land Rover from Ford in 2008 for $2.3 billion.