CHENNAI: What could once again raise the conflict of interest issue, the International Cricket Council on Friday appointed chairman and chief executive officer of PepsiCo as its first independent director on Friday. The cola giants also happens to be the ICC’s global partners with their deal running till 2023. However, the ICC has said they have ensured such a situation would not arise with an independent ethics officer and PepsiCo’s general counsel having already looked at the conflict of interest issue .
But, appointing such a high-profile cola giant official would raise a few eyebrows. The ICC has also said that her selection was not based on her position as PepsiCo’s CEO, but was more to do with the marketing expertise she will bring into the ICC.
Apart from being a partner of the ICC, PepsiCo also happens to be a long-time sponsor of Pakistan Cricket Board, and is also the associate sponsor of the BCCI, having cut their ties with the IPL in 2015 in the wake of the spot-fixing scandal.
Nooyi, like other 16 directors from each of the 12 Test playing nations (including Afghanistan and Ireland), three associate teams and independent chairman (Shashank Manohar) will also have a vote when it comes to key issues.
The move is part of ICC’s major constitutional changes approved by the board last year. Nooyi was one of the 100 applicants for the role when the ICC advertised last year. Nooyi’s term will be for two years, and if provided extension, she can serve up to six years as board of director.
In 2017, the ICC board approved of the need to bring in an independent director as the rest of them represent a full-member nation. And by appointing Nooyi, the ICC is looking to get completely independent view of various subjects. Nooyi, an alumni of Madras Christian College in Chennai and IIM (Calcutta), joined cola giants PepsiCo in 1994 and served as vice-president and president before going on to become the chairman of the organisation in 2007.
CT out of India?
Meanwhile, the ICC has also expressed concerns over the continued absence of tax exemption from the Indian government for global events. Though providing tax exemptions for global events that come directly under the ICC is common practice, the Indian government hasn’t adhered to the requests of the ICC and the BCCI.
As as result, the ICC stated that if tax exemption is not guaranteed for events hosted by India, then it would look at alternate options. Though the dialogue with the Indian government is ongoing, the ICC has already asked its management to look at alternate options within the same time zone for hosting the next edition of the Champions Trophy, which India was set to host in 2021.