PepsiCo’s board of directors has elected Ramon Laguarta as the company’s chairman of the board, succeeding Indra Nooyi who announced in August last year her intention to step down as chief executive.

The appointment is effective when Nooyi retires from the company at the start of February, with Laguarta already chief executive of the global food and beverage giant, a role he assumed in October.

He becomes the sixth chairman and chief executive in Pepsi’s 53-year history, following Nooyi, Steve Reinemund, Roger Enrico, Wayne Calloway and Donald Kendall. Herman Lay served as PepsiCo’s first chairman, while Kendall served as chief executive.

“I am honoured to take on this important post and want to thank the board for the confidence they have placed in me,” said Laguarta. “I also want to thank Indra for her outstanding leadership and tireless work on behalf of PepsiCo. I look forward to building on the strong legacy she and our previous leaders have created, and to working with our very talented global team to position PepsiCo for our next phase of growth.”

Laguarta has held a number of executive and leadership roles within the company. Prior to becoming chief executive, he served as president and has also been employed as the chief executive of the Europe and Sub-Saharan Africa region.

Speaking on behalf of PepsiCo’s board of directors, presiding director Ian Cook said: “We are pleased to appoint Ramon as our company’s chairman. He is an outstanding leader with a compelling vision for PepsiCo and a keen understanding of the evolving needs of consumers around the world. His vast PepsiCo knowledge, combined with his innovative thinking and proven executional excellence, make him the ideal steward to take on this most important role and lead our company into the future.”