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Pepsi Chief for Commerce Secretary?

India West, News Report, Sunita Sohrabji Posted: Jan 20, 2009

The U.S. India Political Action Committee has endorsed PepsiCos chair and CEO Indra Nooyi for the post of commerce secretary in the incoming Obama-Biden administration.

In a press statement released Jan. 11, USINPAC said Nooyi was on a shortlist of candidates for the post, which was thrown open again after President-elect Barack Obamas first pick New Mexico governor Bill Richardson withdrew because of a pending federal investigation.

In this currently tough economic climate, her global vision, leadership and ideas would be exactly what President Obama would need for a position that he has called the leading economic diplomat for America, said the organization, adding that Nooyis impeccable credentials made her perfect for the job.

Nooyi joined PepsiCo in 1994, and became its CFO in 2001, raising the companys annual revenues by 72 percent, according to BusinessWeek. Nooyi became PepsiCos CEO in 2006. She is also the chairwoman of the U.S. India Business Council.

The Chennai native came to the U.S. in 1978 and earned her MBA at Yale. She has said in recent interviews that post-PepsiCo, she would like to work in Washington and give back.

Her resume as a captain of industry and her work in the community speaks for itself, noted USINPAC.

A spokesman for the Obama-Biden transition team told India-West he could not confirm whether Nooyi was being considered for the post.

Dick Detwiler, PepsiCos senior vice president of public affairs, told India-West that neither Nooyi nor the company could comment on the rumor that she was being vetted for the post by the incoming administration.

Obama last month announced his pick of Richardson as commerce secretary. Richardson withdrew a few days later, because of a pending federal investigation into a state contract given to a donor of his political action committee.

The Wall Street Journal reported that Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm, Kansas Governor Kathleen Sibelius and Rep. Xavier Becerra, D-Calif., have all been approached by the transition team, but have indicated their disinterest in the commerce secretary post.

In an interview with ABC News last week, Obama compared the task of nominating a commerce secretary to that of finding a puppy for his daughters and concluded the latter was more difficult.

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