PepsiCo’s celebrity CEO, Indra Nooyi, a staunch Hillary Clinton supporter, told a New York Times Dealbook event that her employees were “traumatized” after learning Donald Trump had won the Presidential election.
Nooyi said she spent last Wednesday reassuring and consoling her distraught employees, answering their questions and promising that she would not allow President-elect Trump to target them in anyway.
“I had to answer a lot of questions, from my daughters, from my employees, they were all in mourning,” she tells the crowd in a video posted to the NYT YouTube site. “Our employees are all crying, and the question that they are asking, especially those that 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 note that she told most of her employees that “life goes on,” despite the election’s unfortunate results, but seemed to have difficult accepting her own soothing explanation. When asked how she personally felt about the election results she asked the moderator, “is there a box of tissues here?”
She even went so far as to tell the crowd that she’d prefer to talk politics to speaking about her own company. “Forget about the Pepsi brand. How dare you talk about women that way,” Nooyi said, referring to Trump’s comments about using his star power to take liberties, and even assault women, on an Access Hollywood tape. “If we don’t nip this in the bud it is going to be a lethal force in society.”
Of course, social media, upon hearing of Nooyi’s comments, was quick to declare a PepsiCo boycott, not unlike the one Trump supporters declared in response to GrubHub’s CEO’s anti-Trump comments.
— Kambree Kawahine Koa (@KamVTV) November 14, 2016
— Anthony Einzig (@AnthonyEinzig) November 14, 2016
— Sherri (@SociallySherri) November 14, 2016
Nooyi, of course, is a supporter of, donor to, and personal friend of Hillary Clinton. During Clinton’s tenure at the State Department, she talked several times with the PepsiCo CEO, who, coincidentally, signed a corporate agreement with the Clinton Global Initiative to provide $8 million for one of the Foundation’s clean water initiatives.
Nooyi even made an appearance in John Podesta’s emails, hacked from his computer and posted by Wikileaks. Clinton crony Lanny Davis had a private meeting with Nooyi, where the two bonded over their shared love and appreciation of Hillary Clinton’s genius. Nooyi’s daughter was, apparently, a field operator for the Clinton campaign in Iowa in 2008.