Former PepsiCo CEO Indra Nooyi Joins Amazon’s Board of Directors
On Monday, Amazon.com Inc. announced through an SEC filing that former CEO of PepsiCo Indra Nooyi would be joining its board of directors as well as its audit committee. Having led PepsiCo for 13 years, Ms. Nooyi stepped down as CEO in October 2018. Mrs. Nooyi’s appointment increases the number of board members to eleven and makes her the fifth woman to be elected to the current board. Amazon has granted her 549 restricted stock units, which will be vested in three installments.
Mrs. Nooyi’s appointment is part of Amazon’s plan to increase diversity in its board of directors. Earlier this month, Starbucks’ operating chief Rosalind Brewer was elected to the board as well, replacing John Seely Brown, a former chief scientist at Xerox Corp. Before becoming COO of Starbucks in October 2017, Brewer was CEO of Walmart’s Sam’s Club for five years, the first African American as well as the first woman to lead a Walmart division.
The other female members on Amazon’s board are Jamie Gorelik, Judith McGrath, and Patricia Stonesifer. Having previously been criticized for its male-dominated leadership, Amazon is working to overhaul its panel. Last year, the board implemented a policy saying that its nominating and corporate governance committee would have to consider women and minority candidates when electing new directors.
The retail and technology company now has a 45% female board of directors, which is a higher percentage of women on its board than most companies in the tech industry do. According to the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University, women make up less than 20 percent of board members in the S&P 500 companies.
Other tech companies have also agreed to increase diversity among their higher-level management. According to Quartz, in the last few years, 38.3 percent of new directors have been female; however, it will still take time to achieve good representation.