Even though women form almost half the work force in the United States, today in 2009 only 12 of Fortune 500 companies have women as CEO’s. We would like to salute women, who presently hold the top slots in their organisations.
She is the CEO of PepsiCo, only the largest, one of the most successful businesses, providing foods and beverages, yet. Nooyi is not only a woman, but she is also a minority, being Indian. Nooyi has sustained PepsiCo to provide much healthier foods and beverages, and to provide less salt and food to the products. Her aim is to expand Pepsi’s $13 billion portfolio to $30 billion by 2020, with more fruits, vegetables, and sportswear. Nooyi has credited her grandfather for her success, and he had said to her: “Don’t ever think you’ve arrived, and remember that what you don’t know is so much more than what you do.”
Catherine Hughes is the first African American woman to be head of a firm. She became a mother at the mere age of 16, but tried to hide that because she knew she “had the whole future ahead of her”. Hughes became the general manager and President of WYCB-AM, but stayed there only 6 months because she was unhappy. In 1979, she bought out radio station, Radio One with then husband, Dewey Hughes, and re-created it from scratch. Their aim was to give African Americans a voice. Radio One provides its audience with news, music, and opportunities for others to work in the field. Hughes became the first woman to receive the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Achievement in Radio Awards at its twelfth annual ceremony in 1998.
Irene Rosenfeld has been in the industry of food and beverages for over 30 years. She drives business results by understanding customer needs, constant innovation, and making delicious foods. Rosenfeld became the CEO of Kraft Foods in 2006, and became Chairman in March of the following year. Rosenfeld helped change Kraft Foods change its face, footprints, and prospects. Before becoming the CEO and Chairman of Kraft Food, Rosenfeld was the CEO of Frito-Lay for two years. The Financial Times and Fortune recently ranked Rosenfeld No. 1 on their “Top 50 Women in Global Business” and “50 Most Powerful Women in Business” lists, respectively. Forbes has named Rosenfeld as one of the world’s “100 Most Powerful Women” for several years
Susan Ivey is the former CEO and President of Raynolds American Inc, a manufacturer of tobacco and cigarettes products, effective from 2004 to 2011. She also became the chairman of the company in 2006, and the position lasted until 2010. Ivey was also the chairman of R.J Raynolds from 2004 to 2008. As head of Reynolds American, Ivey has guided the company’s efforts into the smokeless tobacco category, including the introduction of products. In 2009, Ivey was named the 59th most powerful women by FORBES.
Muriel Siebert is not a CEO of any company per say, but she is the founder and president of The New York Stock Exchange, which has made her get the title “The First Woman of Finance”. The company was established by Siebert in 1967, and is still running effectively and efficiently to this very day. However, she took a break from her firm in 1977 to 182 to serve as the first woman Superintendent of Banking for the State of New York under Governor Hugh Carey. As such, she was responsible for the safety and soundness of not only the banks, but also other financial institutions in New York State. To all of the world, she is known as Mickie, as well as being a leader and a risk taker.
6. Colleen Barrett
Colleen Barrett has never been a CEO, but rather a President, and her achievements and contributions are very important to note. If you watch some videos of Colleen Barrett, you would never have imagined she would become the President of a company. Your first impression would be that she is a middle aged housewife with no work potential of any sorts. But Barrett proves that looks can be deceiving. Colleen Barrett went to college for a diploma in law. She established herself by being at the right place at the right time, when Heb Kelleher, the founder and former CEO of Southwest Airlines, hired Barrett to be his executive assistant at his law firm. When Kelleher retired, he elected Barrett to take over his duties. She has expressed that she is not a leader per say, but a follower, which makes her a good leader that she is.
Christina Gold was once known to be an extremely shy person, but eventually overcame her fears. This had opened some doors for her to work at Avon’s. After 19 years of working there, and 20 different jobs at the same company, Gold rose to the highest job she could dream of. She became the Head of operations in Canada in 1989. In 1993, Gold became the first ever female president at Avon’s in North America. She raised Avon’s revenues with her exceptional problem solving skills and practical ideas. Many people were stunned in 1997, when Gold became the CEO of Avon’s. Gold resigned from Avon in 1998, and since then has been elected to be the CEO of Western Union in 2006.
Andrea Jung replaced Christina Gold as CEO of Avon in 1999. With Jung’s help, Avon saw an even more increase in revenues by the first year she was in the picture, which was triple from the previous year. Avon’s independent sales force became 6.5 million workers. As CEO for 12 years, Jung has championed women’s empowerment, emphasizing Avon’s role in offering employment opportunities to the 95% female reps who sell its products. In 2011, it was announced that Jung would step down from her CEO duties and be the Chairman of Avon, which she was already on top of being a CEO.
Marjorie Scardino has had a massive experience with education, beginning with a French and Psychology degree in Baylor University in 1969. She then attended George Washington University for a law degree. She dropped out of the program to pursue a career in journalism. Scardino, however, ended receiving her law degree in 1975 in The San Francisco University. Scardino began work in The Economist as the managing director in North America. With her work, The Economists increased its profits and circulations. In 1992, she became the CEO of The Economists, and the CEO of Pearson, which is $3.5 billion worth media organization, in 1997.
Brenda Barnes was the CEO and chairman of Sarah Lee Corporation since 2005. She first joined Sarah Lee in 2004 as president and chief executive operations. But before that, she worked in Pepsi for over a 22 year period. With Barnes’ help, Sarah Lee Corporation held approximately a customer and consumer base of millions around the world. The company has one of the world’s best-loved and leading portfolios with its innovative and trusted food, beverage, household and body care brands, including Ambi Pur, Ball Park, Douwe Egberts, Hillshire Farm, Jimmy Dean, Kiwi, Sanex, Sara Lee and Senseo. Collectively, these brands generate more than $13 billion in annual net sales covering approximately 200 countries. The Sara Lee community consists of 44,000 employees worldwide. Brenda Barnes resigned from her duties as CEO in 2010 due to suffering a stroke.