Corporate Governance Symposium

Indra Nooyi, the first woman to serve as chief executive of PepsiCo, speaks at a 2011 anniversary celebration for UD’s John L. Weinberg Center for Corporate Governance. She will visit UD again on March 20 for the 2019 conference.

This article has been republished with permission from UDaily and was written by Ann Manser.

During Indra Nooyi’s 12 years as PepsiCo’s chief executive, she won accolades not only for the company’s growth and success under her leadership but also for her openness about the challenges that women leaders face and the importance of work-life balance.

On March 20, an audience at the University of Delaware will have the opportunity to hear Nooyi speak about those and other issues that affect women and men in the corporate world.

The iconic leader, who stepped down as PepsiCo CEO in October and as its chairman earlier this year, will be the John L. Weinberg Distinguished Speaker at the Weinberg Center for Corporate Governance’s 2019 Symposium.

The daylong event, which is free and open to the public with advance registration, will focus on governance issues of critical importance to boards and investors in 2019.

In addition to Nooyi’s talk, the symposium will include special speaker Robert J. Jackson Jr., who is a commissioner with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), and luncheon speaker William D. Cohan, a bestselling author and former Wall Street investment banker. A panel of corporate governance experts will discuss and debate key issues, and academic papers will be presented.

The symposium will be held from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. in Clayton Hall on UD’s Newark campus. It is co-sponsored by the Weinberg Center in the College of Arts and Sciences and by the Department of Finance in the Alfred Lerner College of Business and Economics.

More about the symposium speakers

Indra Nooyi will address the audience in a conversation with Charles M. Elson, who is the Edgar S. Woolard Chair in Corporate Governance, director of the Weinberg Center and professor of finance.

Nooyi, who had a 24-year career with PepsiCo, was named its first female president and CEO in 2006, one of the few women to head a Fortune 500 company.

During her 12-year tenure, she led the company to develop healthier snack foods and beverages, and PepsiCo experienced an 80 percent growth in sales under her leadership. Nooyi often described herself as a consumer as well as an executive, saying that she visited grocery stores and took note of PepsiCo’s packaging and other features.

She also has been outspoken about the need for businesses and public policies to do more to support women executives and to help them meet their varied responsibilities.

Last month, Amazon announced that Nooyi was named to its board of directors.

Robert J. Jackson Jr., who joined the SEC in January 2018, has extensive experience as a legal scholar, policy professional and corporate lawyer. He was a professor of law at New York University School of Law and at Columbia Law School, where he directed its program on corporate law and policy.

William D. Cohan is a former senior Wall Street mergers and acquisitions investment banker, a journalist and the author of three nonfiction books about Wall Street. His new book, Why Wall Street Matters, was published in 2017.

Members of the panel, moderated by Elson, who will discuss critical governance issues for boards and investors are:

Glenn Booraem, investment stewardship officer and a principal, Vanguard;

Aeisha Mastagni, portfolio manager, California State Teachers’ Retirement System;

Steve Odland, president and CEO, The Conference Board;

Eric Shostal, vice president, investor stewardship team, BlackRock; and

Myron T. Steele, partner, Potter Anderson and Corroon, and former chief justice, Delaware Supreme Court

For more about the symposium, including details of the academic paper presentations and registration information, visit this website.

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