Mar 18, 2021

People Moves Americas: Cisco, Allianz Life, Cargill, Aegon

peoplemoves
executivemoves
Leadership
CEOs
Kate Birch
3 min
From technology to insurance to banking, here’s Business Chief’s weekly round-up of the biggest executive moves to and within the Americas
From technology to insurance to banking, here’s Business Chief’s weekly round-up of the biggest executive moves to and within the Americas...

Another week, another slew of executive moves within the US, which includes a handful of new regional Bank of America President appointments and a number of leadership changes at Cargill due to the firm’s growth strategy. 

Here is Business Chief’s weekly round-up (11-18 March) of the big executive moves in North America. 

Will Fuller to join Aegon as CEO Transamerica

Formerly Executive Vice President of Lincoln Group, Will Fuller has joined life insurance, pensions and asset management group Aegon as President and CEO of Transamerica. He will also become a member of the Management Board. With three decades of experience in insurance, wealth management and retirement plans, and as a proven financial services leader with a distinguished track record, Fuller brings a “deep understanding of our industry and personal drive”, says Lard Friese, CEO of Aegon Group. 

Laercio Albuquerque takes helm of Cisco Latin America

Following five years leading Cisco’s operations in Brazil, Laercio Albuquerque has been appointed as Vice President of Cisco for the Latin America region, part of Cisco’s strategy to accelerate uptake of the firm’s networking systems in the region. 

Prior to Cisco, Albuquerque’s 35-year career includes leadership positions in Brazil and Latin America CA Technologies. This promotion sees Albuquerque lead sales in the region and help customers digitise faster to achieve social and economic impact. According to Jeff Sharritts, senior VP for sales at Cisco Americas, Albuquerque brings a “sharp focus on growth, culture and digital transformation” which will be “fundamental as our clients and partners move towards resuming their business strategies”. 

undefined

Jasmine Jirele named President and CEO of Allianz Life

With the retirement of Walter White as CEO and President of Allianz Life insurance firm, Jasmine Jirele has been named as successor. Jirele has served as Allianz Life’s chief growth officer since 2018, where she was responsible for defining the company’s growth strategy including its expansion into new markets, and leading product innovation, and boasts extensive leadership experience that spans strategy, product innovation, marketing, operations and digitll and experience management. 

Having previously served as executive VP within Wells Fargo’s Consumer Bank division and with prior leadership roles in marketing, product innovation and operations at Allianz Life, Jirele brings a “compelling combination of strategic vision, deep customer and industry insight, and digital transformation that will help continue to advance Allianz’s growth and its mission of helping its customers secure their future”, says Jackie Hunt, member of the Board of Management of Allianz SE. 

undefined

Heather Albright named President of Bank of America Arkansas

Succeeding Donnie Cook who has led the market of the past 16 years, Heather Albright has been named President of Arkansas for Bank of America. Here, she will be responsible for connecting the banking and investment resources offered through the bank’s eight lines of business and will lead the effort to deploy Bank of America’s resources to address social concerns, strengthen economic opportunity, and build strong communities. 

Albrigth will remain in her position as global commercial banking senior VP and senior relationship manager. With 16 years of experience at Bank of America, Albright is also an active member in the community serving on the board of Economics Arkansas. 

Pilar Cruz appointed Cargill’s first-ever chief sustainability officer

In a week where Cargill has made some leadership changes, including two new executive appointments, Pilar Cruz has been appointed by Cargill as the animal nutrition firm’s first chief sustainability officer. 

Having been with Cargill since 2002, in various leadership positions in North America, Europe and Latin America leading Cargill’s strategy and developing including M&As and business development, Cruz most recently led the global aqua nutrition business, where she oversaw the launch of its SeaFurther sustainability program, setting the firm’s goal to help salmon farming clients reduce the environmental footprint of their fish by 30% by 2030. In this new role, Cruz will have responsibility for the firm’s sustainability, corporate responsibility and global communications functions. 

undefined

Share article

Jun 6, 2021

Business Chief Legend: Former PepsiCo CEO Indra Nooyi

PepsiCo
businesslegend
Leadership
CEO
Kate Birch
4 min
As the first and only female CEO of PepsiCo, Indra Nooyi smashed corporate America’s glass ceiling and transformed the performance and purpose of PepsiCo

At a recent Asia Pacific-focused event, organised by P&G and UN Women, the former CEO of PepsiCo, Indra Nooyi, shared why enabling a diverse and inclusive workforce can directly impact the bottom line.

“If 80% of our products are bought by women because they were the gatekeepers at home, or make all the purchases, why don’t we have a large number of women represented in our ranks,” she told a virtual global crowd of thousands. 

Such business advice may seem rather obvious today, but in 2006, when Nooyi put this business philosophy into practice at PepsiCo, it was both pioneering and progressive. Because not only did the performance of PepsiCo transform under Nooyi’s 12-year tenure as CEO, but so did its purpose and people, with Nooyi widely praised for transforming the firm’s diversity and inclusion agenda.

And who better to do so than someone who had herself smashed the corporate American glass ceiling. Because, when Nooyi became CEO in 2006, following 12 years as Chief Strategist, not only was she among just a handful of female CEOs leading Fortune 500 firms, and one of very few foreign-born executives, she was both the first female CEO to lead PepsiCo, and the first person of colour. Not to mention also being a wife and mother.

Proving performance and purpose can co-exist

And she more than got the job done, growing PepsiCo revenues by 80%, making the firm more global than it had ever been, so that by the time she stepped down in 2018, nearly 20% of net revenues came from MENA, Asia and Latin America, and expanding the business significantly with key acquisitions (Tropicana) and mergers (Quaker Oats).

But it was Nooyi’s strategic redirection of PepsiCo, transforming both its purpose and people, that really made an impact. As chief architect of PepsiCo’s pledge, Performance with Purpose, unveiled in 2006 and a precursor to the modern sustainability movement, Nooyi repositioned the firm to focus on what is best for the world and for its people, from sustainability and social responsibility to diversity and diet.

She transformed the firm’s D&I agenda, created a culture where workers were encouraged to stay with the company, moved corporate spending away from junk food and into healthier alternatives, redesigned packaging to reduce waste, and switched to renewable energy sources and recycling.

As she told Forbes in 2017, “I wanted to make sure that PepsiCo was not only delivering top-tier financial returns but doing so in a way that was responsive to the needs of the world around us.”

Indra Nooyi talking with US President Biden (then Vice President) in 2014

Smashing corporate America's glass ceiling

And it was this ability to realise a world in which business is both practiced and recognised as a force for good that has earned Nooyi a place in CEO history books and landed her numerous accolades, including 11 honorary degrees, the Hero of Conscious Capitalism award at 2017’s CEO Summit, consistent inclusion in the world’s 100 most powerful women (including #1 by Forbes in 2009/10) and most recently, induction into the National Women’s Hall of Fame.

Not bad for a girl from Chennai, India, who was expected to lead a conventional life as a wife and mother, but by her own admission was a bit of a “rebel”, with a passion for playing cricket and lead guitarist in a band. In the late 70s, she relocated to the US, earning herself a Master’s in management from Yale, and beginning a four decade-long strategy-focused career that was born at BCG in 1980 where she spent six years and ended in 2018 following 24 impactful years at PepsiCo.

And while she has now retired from corporate life, Nooyi continues to wield the influence that so positively changed the direction of one of the world’s largest companies. As well as serving on the board for ecommerce giant Amazon, she speaks at summits close to her heart, and has recently penned her memoir, advising corporates on better integrating work and family.

And while she has now retired from corporate life, Nooyi continues to wield the influence that so positively changed the direction of one of the world’s largest companies. As well as serving on the board for ecommerce giant Amazon, she speaks at summits close to her heart, and has recently penned her memoir, advising corporates on better integrating work and family. 

Indra Nooyi's memoir will be available from September 28, 2021, and can be pre-ordered. 

Share article