Spin this: "When I said America is the middle finger of the world I really meant...
This is so meta, but I think this blunder totally rules (thanks Feh.
A message from PepsiCo’s President & CFO, Indra Nooyi
I recently had the privilege of speaking to the 2005 graduating class of Columbia University’s Business School in New York City.
Recognizing that these talented new leaders will influence both America and the world, I tried to provide some advice as they embark on their careers.
I chose to speak about the powerful role that America, and we as Americans, hold in the world today. I hoped to encourage these graduates to be sure they make a positive and personal difference as representatives of our great country.
In my comments, I used the analogy of a human hand to illustrate that people in countries around the globe need to join together to make the world work in harmony – just as all the fingers of a hand work together. It is an illustration that I learned when I was a student, and that I have shared with others on many different occasions.
As part of this illustration, I assigned five of the world’s continents to the different fingers and thumb. I refer to North America and particularly the U.S. as the middle finger because it is the longest and anchors every function the hand performs. The middle finger also is key to all the fingers working together effectively. That is how I view America’s place of importance in the world.
The point of my analogy was to emphasize America’s leadership position. Equally critical is the need for each of us as citizens to take a constructive role in whatever we choose to do in life to ensure the U.S. continues as the world’s “helping hand.”
Unfortunately, my remarks at Columbia University were misconstrued and depicted in a different context as unpatriotic. Although nothing could be further from the truth, I regret any confusion or concern that I may have inadvertently created. As I shared with the audience at Columbia, this country that I am proud and honored to call home is a “promised land” that I love dearly. I would never say or do anything to detract from our great nation and its people who have done so much for so many, including myself.
Thank you for your understanding and allowing me to set the record straight.
Indra K. Nooyi
President & CFO, PepsiCo