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Longtime PepsiCo CEO Indra Nooyi will step down as the top executive and the world's second-largest food and beverage company.

PepsiCo announced on Monday that Indra Nooyi would step down as chief executive officer (CEO) in October after 12 years at the helm. She will remain as chairman until early 2019. Mr Laguarta will be elected to the company's board of directors with effect from October 3. "Laguarta equally represents continuity and the necessary agility for PepsiCo", said Daniel Vasella, chairman of the board's Nominating and Corporate Governance Committee. I also want to thank Indra for her overwhelming support. Previously, Laguarta served as chief executive officer, Europe Sub-Saharan Africa.

"I'm proud of all we've done to position PepsiCo for success, confident that Ramon and his senior leadership team will continue prudently balancing short-term and long-term priorities", said Nooyi. He became president of PepsiCo past year, overseeing its global operations, strategy, public policy and government affairs. Current president Ramon Laguarta will succeed her.

She is also largely credited with re-shaping Pepsi with tactical mergers and shifting to healthier drinks over sugary sodas - moving to juices and teas.

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In a series of posts on Twitter, the businesswoman referred to her upbringing in India and said she "never imagined" she'd have the opportunity to lead a company like PepsiCo.

PepsiCo has delivered strong results under Nooyi's leadership.

He noted that, under Nooyi, PepsiCo expanded its portfolio of "Good for You" and "Better for You" options from about 38 per cent of revenue in 2006 to about 50 per cent in 2017, while simultaneously nearly tripling the company's investments in research and development to expand more nutritious offerings and minimize its environmental impact.

PepsiCo's shares were up marginally in premarket trading on Monday.