PepsiCo CEO Indra Nooyi Writes Letters To Employees’ Parents — & They Love ‘Em

Photo: Monica Schipper/Getty Images.
PepsiCo CEO Indra Nooyi has been writing personal letters to the parents of her senior executives to show them gratitude — sometimes several hundred a year. And the parents come back feeling honored and "emotional," she said on The David Rubenstein Show, as Mashable reported. The idea came to Nooyi when she first became CEO and visitors streamed into her home in India to pay compliments to her mother: "You did such a good job with your daughter." She said this made her realize that parents deserve just as much recognition as their high-achieving kids. "I was a product of my upbringing... It occurred to me that I had never thanked the parents of my executives for the gift of their child to PepsiCo," she said on the show. Sometimes, Nooyi writes deeply personal letters to her employees, too. As someone who calls her mom two or three times a day, she stresses the importance of talking to your parents — it's too easy to get buried in work and forget to pick up the phone. "If I felt that our employees were not calling their parents often enough, I'd write a letter to them on why it was important to call parents," she said. After the election, Nooyi attempted to heal divides among her employees by writing a letter calling for unity and asking them to remember that they are "first and foremost Americans." We'd love to see more leaders following in Nooyi's footsteps — we can get behind her highly personal style. And while it's always fun to get a fan letter from your boss, it's the thoughtful constructive criticism that helps most in the long run. Watch Nooyi discuss her leadership style in this video by Bloomberg.

More from Work & Money

R29 Original Series