Indra Nooyi may be the next World Bank chief if she can clear Trump’s loyalty test

Indra NooyiAP Photo/Mark Linnahan
  • Indra Nooyi, the former CEO of PepsiCo, was reportedly approached by Ivanka Trump as a potential candidate for the new chief of the World Bank.
  • But her history with the current US administration may be an obstacle since US President Donald Trump tends to surround himself with loyalists.
  • David Malpass from the US Treasury Department and Ray Washburne, CEO of Overseas Private Investment Corporation, are also in the running for World Bank chief.
After Jim Yong Kim’s surprise resignation as the World Bank chief, the US administration is looking for replacement. And the India-born, former chief executive officer (CEO) of PepsiCo, Indra Nooyi is one of the contenders shortlisted to take up the mantle, according to the New York Times.

It’s not a done deal since the selection process reportedly still in its initial stages. Nooyi has been approached by Ivanka Trump, the US President’s eldest daughter, who is helping short list the nominees for the World Bank’s new head — and not running for the job herself, as speculated earlier.

US President Donald Trump, known for following his instincts and making unprecedented moves, may just decide to bring in a last minute candidate.

Easier said than done

Nooyi may be a promising candidate for leading the World Bank but her history with the Trump administration could stand in the way.

In an interview, after the Trump won the 2016 US election, Nooyi said, “Our employees are all crying. And the question that they’re asking, especially those who are not white: ‘Are we safe?’ Women are asking: ‘Are we safe?’ LGBT people are asking: ‘Are we safe?’ I never thought I’d have had to answer those questions.”

She did attempt the clarify her comments later by saying that it wasn’t ‘all’ employees but only the ones that were apprehensive about the outcome of the election.

She has clearly come a long way since and was able to break into Trump’s inner circle as an advisor on Trump’s business council. But even that fell apart to protest his response to a white-supremacist rally. The US President reportedly chose to abolish the group rather than put pressure on the CEOs to stay.

The many firings of Donald Trump

Trump already has a hard time with people whose political views aren’t in agreement with his own. Nikki Haley’s surprise exit as the US ambassador to the UN.

Haley was one of Trump’s most high-profile staffers, in effect, acting as the international face of the administration. Her outspoken policies, though, were often at odds with the White House — especially when it came to Russia.

When announcing imminent sanctions in April 2018, the White House blatantly contradicted her saying that Haley was “suffering from momentary confusion.” She fired back stating, “With all due respect, I don’t get confused.”

The director of the Federal Bureau of Information (FBI), James Comey, got into trouble over Russia as well. He was fired for leading an investigation into Trump’s 2016 campaign looking into possible collusion between Trump and Putin to effect the outcome of the elections.

Even Sally Yates, the US attorney general, was fired as disloyalty as well when she ordered Justice Department lawyers to not enforce Trump’s immigration ban, which was controversial to begin with.

The US defence secretary, Jim Mattis, wasn’t spared either when he ‘ stepped down’ from his position in December because his views didn’t ‘align’ with the President right after Trump announced he was withdrawing US troops from Syria.

The Trump administration's chief strategist, most senior African American aid, FBI’s deputy director, staff secretary, communications direction, chief of staff, speechwriter, national security advisor and economic advisors have all been fired over policy disagreements.

At a time when Trump is testing the global economic order, the World Bank chief would need to echo the interest of the White House on a global platform — that includes everything from the wall he wants to build on the US-Mexico border, his ongoing trade war with China and Iran to foreign policy issues with India, Russia and the European Union.

The two other candidates under consideration are David Malpass who is an official at the US Treasury Department and Ray Washburne, the CEO of Overseas Private Investment Corporation.

See also:
Here’s how Indra Nooyi changed PepsiCo in her 12 years as CEO

The White House is reportedly considering former Pepsi CEO Indra Nooyi to head the World Bank

Leadership lessons from PepsiCo CEO Indra Nooyi
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