Indra Nooyi in Race for World Bank President Post: ReportsTop Stories

January 17, 2019 10:29
Indra Nooyi in Race for World Bank President Post: Reports

(Image source from: Fortune)

Indian American business leader Indra Nooyi, who headed the global beverage giant PepsiCo, is under consideration for President of World Bank, according to reports.

If confirmed by President Donald Trump, Nooyi, 63, will succeed Jim Yong Kim, a Korean immigrant who unexpectedly announced that he is quitting at the beginning of the year.

Nooyi stepped down as PepsiCo's chief last August after heading the company for 12 years.

She "has been courted as an administration ally by Ivanka Trump, the president's eldest daughter who is playing a role in the selection of a nominee," The New York Times said.

The report, which cited several people familiar with the process, said the decision-making process for the top post at the World Bank is "fluid and in its initial stages and early front-runners and candidates often fall off the radar, or withdraw from consideration, before the president (Donald Trump) makes his ultimate pick".

It is uncertain whether Nooyi would accept the nomination if chosen by the Trump administration.

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The first daughter, who has tweeted that she views Nooyi as a "mentor + inspiration", has floated her name as a potential successor.

The NYT report said that the process of choosing Kim's successor is being overseen by Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney and Ivanka Trump, whose role in the process was announced by the White House on Monday.

Ivanka Trump's "role in the process drew some criticism from ethics watchdogs Monday, which said it could pose a conflict of interest for the president's daughter to be involved in international economic matters when she has not completely divested from her assets," the report said.

In order to present President Trump with recommendations for a nominee, the group was expected to begin the interview process on Tuesday.

Nooyi joined Trump's business council, which was disbanded after many chief executives quit following the president's comments blaming "many sides" for white supremacist violence in Charlottesville, in August 2017.

The negative statements made by Nooyi would probably be a possible barrier to her nomination, according to the report.

Following Trump's win, she said at the NYT's DealBook conference in 2016 that "Our employees are all crying. And the question that they're asking, especially those who are not white: 'Are we safe?' Women are asking: 'Are we safe?' LGBT people are asking: 'Are we safe?' I never thought I'd have had to answer those questions".

A spokesman for PepsiCo had told Fortune magazine that "Mrs. Nooyi misspoke. She was referring to the reaction of a group of employees she spoke to who were apprehensive about the outcome of the election. She never intended to imply that all employees feel the same way".

Other candidates being considered for the position of World Bank head are president of the Overseas Private Investment Corporation Ray Washburne and undersecretary of the Treasury for International Affairs David Malpass.

-Sowmya Sangam

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Indra Nooyi  World Bank