Nooyi previously spent 24 years at PepsiCo, where she led the consumer product giant as CEO from 2006 to 2018 and chaired its board starting in May 2007. She stepped down from the CEO role this past October and from the chair position this month.
Nooyi is the second woman — and second woman of color — to be added to Amazon’s board in the past month. Starbucks executive Rosalind Brewer joined the board on Feb. 4.
Last year, facing an employee backlash and public criticism from black and Hispanic members of Congress, Amazon adopted a new policy to consider “a slate of diverse candidates, including women and minorities” for future openings on its board. The company said at the time that it was merely formalizing its existing practice. Corporations are increasingly being called upon to increase board diversity.
Amazon now has six men and five women on its 11-member board.
Nooyi took an advisory role on President Trump’s business council that was ultimately disbanded in 2017.
In August of last year, Ivanka Trump tweeted about Nooyi and called her a “mentor + inspiration to many, myself included.”
The great @IndraNooyi is stepping down as PepsiCo CEO, after 12 yrs.
Indra, you are a mentor + inspiration to so many, myself included. I am deeply grateful for your friendship. Thank you for your passionate engagement on issues that benefit the people of this country, and beyond
— Ivanka Trump (@IvankaTrump) August 7, 2018
Nooyi is a “believer in the power of corporations to do well by doing good,” according to her Twitter bio. She penned this farewell post in October, reflecting on lessons learned during her time leading PepsiCo.
The Miami Herald interviewed Nooyi last week, asking about her role in helping Connecticut attract Amazon’s “HQ2” and getting her thoughts on increasing the number of women CEOs — here was her answer on that, per the Miami Herald:
“It is bad for business and bad for society that women aren’t better represented at the highest ranks of corporations. We have to rethink how we support women in the workplace. Companies need to be better at eliminating unconscious bias and offering women the kind of support they need — from paid leave, to child care and flexibility — to meet ALL their responsibilities. And governments at all levels need to support policies that will help women succeed in the workplace and drive economic growth.”
As part of her new Amazon board appointment, Nooyi was granted a restricted stock unit award of 549 common stock shares that will vest in three equal installments beginning May 15, 2020. Amazon also named Nooyi to its audit committee of the board.