Blog: A White House seat for PepsiCo's Nooyi?

Michelle Russell | 29 September 2010

As Lawrence Summer prepares to step down from his role as director of the National Economic Council, US president Barack Obama will now begin work on a shortlist of possible replacements.

One name rumoured to be on the president's list is PepsiCo CEO Indra Nooyi, as reports suggest the White House is eager to name a woman to serve in a high-level position.

Nooyi is no stranger to the Washington DC address. She had been part of Obama's informal group of advisers when he was running for President in 2008.

Attending a panel discussion in New York last week, she said: "I want to go to Washington and figure out how to give back to the United States,"  indicating that playing a political role was on the horizon.

However, Nooyi also made it clear that it was not an immediate ambition.

"The next phase of my career: I want to run PepsiCo, I want to make it a defining corporation of the 21st century, and that's all I'm focused on," she added.

Nonetheless, she will be up against former chairman of the Federal Reserve Paul Volcker, Google chairman Eric Schmidt and University of Chicago economist Austan Goolsbee, also reported to be on the shortlist.

But don't expect a decision any time soon. An announcement isn't expected until after the midterm elections in November.


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