The Financial Express

Ivanka backs former PepsiCo CEO to lead WB

| Updated: January 19, 2019 10:26:45

Indra K. Nooyi  -AP Photo Indra K. Nooyi -AP Photo

The White House is considering former PepsiCo CEO Indra K. Nooyi for the position of World Bank president, according to several people familiar with the process.

Ivanka Trump, US President Donald Trump's daughter and adviser, has floated Nooyi’s name for the position, reports The New York Times on Wednesday.

However, it is not yet clear if the former Pepsi CEO will accept, if offered.

Ivanka Trump is among the three people conducting the search for a successor to Jim Yong Kim, who resigned earlier this month.

The other two are Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney.

Others in the race for the post include David Malpass, the under secretary of treasury, and Ray Washburne, who is heading the Oversea Private Investment Corporation.

Both of them had served as advisers to President Donald Trump’s campaign.

Nooyi stepped down from her role at PepsiCo last August after leading the company for 12 years.

She has been courted as an administration ally by Ivanka Trump, the US president’s eldest daughter, who is playing a role in the selection of a nominee.

Nooyi could stand the best chance in the race with the backing of Ivanka, who has called Nooyi a “mentor”.

Ivanka wrote in a tweet last August, “The great @IndraNooyi is stepping down as PepsiCo CEO, after 12 yrs. Indra, you are a mentor + inspiration to so many, myself included. I am deeply grateful for your friendship. Thank you for your passionate engagement on issues that benefit the people of this country, and beyond.”

Historically, the person that the US – the biggest shareholder – puts forward to be considered for the role is approved by the board, and the European shareholders select someone to lead the International Monetary Fund.

Ivanka Trump’s role in the process drew some criticism from ethics watchdogs on Monday.

They said that it could pose a conflict of interest for the president’s daughter to be involved in international economic matters when she has not completely divested from her assets.

A White House spokesman did not respond to a request for comment about the candidates.

The World Bank’s current president, Jim Yong Kim, said this month that he would step down in February to join a private infrastructure investment firm, an unexpected departure that comes nearly three years before the end of his term.

Kim was first appointed by the Obama administration in 2012, on the recommendation of Hillary Clinton when she was secretary of state, and was reappointed by President Barack Obama in 2016 to serve a second five-year term.

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