After more than two decades at PepsiCo (NASDAQ: PEP) half of them as CEO, Indra Nooyi has resigned. Your exit from the beverage giant marks the end of an era to which an investor should be happy.
Although Nooyi's appointment was a breakthrough achievement – a female minority leading a Fortune 500 company is a rarity – her tenure has failed where it matters most to investors: earning revenue.
Losing their fizz
As of October 1, 2006 – when Nooyi stepped into the CEO role – until the end of last week, shares of soda and snack Company only gained 73%, far less than the S & P 500 112% increase.
Including dividend effects, Pepsi's total return to 141%. However, this also leads to a total return analysis of the S & P 500 and lags even further behind Coca-Cola (NYSE: KO) which in the same period resulted in a total return of 194 % led. 
Both Pepsi and Coke have suffered a long-term decline in lemonade consumption, displacing any impact Nooyi may have. However, since Coca-Cola is a pure beverage company, it would have had to make a much bigger impression than Pepsi. The profitable frito-lay division, which produces snacks such as Doritos and Lays chips, should have better understood the increase in snack consumption.
A missed opportunity [November192009] Last November, market analysts at Nielsen noted that salty snacks and biscuits and crackers are two of the fastest-growing snack categories, each rising 6% over the previous year are. In the market for salty snacks, foods with health-promoting properties such as no preservatives, gluten-free or organic quality achieved double-digit growth rates. (Non-GMO snacks rose fastest with an annual increase of 29%.)
Although Frito-Lay North America posted sales of $ 15.8 billion in 2017, this represents an increase of 18% 2010 ($ 13.4 billion)
The opportunity to buy snacks prompted multi-billion dollar investor Nelson Peltz to split Pepsi into two companies and use the snacks business to create the global giant Mondelez International to acquire. Nooyi loudly resisted this plan and eventually won.
She also fought against other transformative businesses and made no big purchases. For example, she gave up the chance to buy the organic dairy producer WhiteWave Foods, which was eventually purchased by Danone .
Chance for Change
The absence of WhiteWave was critical because it turned away from soda, consumers were looking for healthy beverage alternatives. Earlier this year, Danone reported strong sales and improved profits, partially due to the integration of WhiteWave into its operations.
Nooyi has made acquisitions in the area of healthy snacks, such as Pepsi's purchase of Bare Foods, a producer of baked fruit and vegetable snacks, which should give the outlook for the beverage giant's "better for you" snack business to have a higher profile, continued to drive forward.
With Nooyi's departure, however, the transformative deals could be back on the table as activist investors are sure to appeal to new CEO Ramon Laguarta to make the changes his predecessor hated.
Pepsi investors should be pleased that the torch has finally been approved, as there is now a chance that real progress can be made without a CEO getting in the way.
Rich Duprey has no position in any of the listed stocks. The Motley Fool has no position in any of these values. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.