In her climb to the top, she had a major hand in re-shaping PepsiCo - helping it to spin off its interest in Pizza Hut, KFC and Taco Bell while a top executive at the company.
According to the US-based multinational, its Board of Directors has unanimously elected Ramon Laguarta, 54, to succeed Nooyi, 62, as Chief Executive Officer.
Commenting on his appointment, Mr Laguarta said, "I'm incredibly humbled and privileged to be appointed the next CEO of PepsiCo, and I want to thank the Board of Directors for the confidence they have placed in me with their decision".
"Today is a day of mixed emotions for me", Nooyi said on Twitter.
PepsiCo's top brands include Frito-Lay, Pepsi-Cola, Quaker, Gatorade and Tropicana; and its portfolio includes 22 billion-dollar brands. "I believe PepsiCo's best days are yet to come", she tweeted. He had previously served as CEO, Europe Sub-Saharan Africa and President, PepsiCo Eastern Europe region.
Indra Nooyi, one of the most prominent female CEOs in the world, announced Monday she will step down as head of PepsiCo following 12 years navigating the soft drinks and snacks company through a tricky climate of shifting consumer taste amid rising health concerns.
With Nooyi's departure, the rest of PepsiCo's senior leadership team will remain unchanged, the company said. He will assume the CEO role on October 3. She was also chief architect of PepsiCo's vision of Performance with objective.
"I've had a wonderful time being CEO, but at some point you sit back and say, look, it's a responsible move to effect an orderly transition and to have somebody else take over the leadership of this company", she said in an interview.
Nooyi was born in Chennai, India, and moved to the United States in 1978 when she entered the Yale School of Management.
Nooyi was recently named one to the most powerful women in the beverage industry in the July/August issue of BevNET Magazine. Now women hold just 6.4% of CEO roles in the Fortune 500. Among her critics was the activist investor Nelson Peltz of the Trian Fund Management LP, who dismissed her health and nutrition push as a distraction and accumulated stock in a campaign to split up PepsiCo so shareholder could milk more from the company. In 2007, she was awarded the Padma Bhushan by the President of India.