PepsiCo president and CFO Indra Nooyi will take the top job in October after chairman and CEO Steve Reinemund today (14 August) announced he was to step down for family reasons.

Nooyi, who joined PepsiCo in 1994, will become CEO on 1 October after five years in her current position. Reinemund will stay on as executive chairman until his retirement next May.

Reinemund, 58, said: "After 22 years with PepsiCo, more than five of them as chairman and CEO, I have decided that my family is entitled to more time from me than the responsibilities and obligations of continuing as PepsiCo's CEO requires and deserves. It was, in many respects, the toughest and easiest decision of my life."

The US soft drinks giant said that Nooyi had been "the primary architect" in a series of moves, including spinning off the company's bottling operations and the acquisition of Tropicana.

Reinemund said: "She not only co-authored our vision and drafted our strategic blueprint, she has a sharp talent for turning insightful ideas and plans into realities and for developing and replenishing our talent base."

Nooyi becomes the fifth CEO in PepsiCo's 41-year history. She said: "Steve has steered the company to a strong and enviable position, and he will be a continuing source of wisdom and perspective."

PepsiCo plans to divide Nooyi's role in two. Richard Goodman, CFO of PepsiCo International, will take responsibility for issues including tax, treasury and risk management.

Hugh F. Johnston, senior vice president, transformation, has been promoted to the newly-created position of executive vice president, operations and will add global procurement and IT to his responsibilities.