It’s a man’s world when it comes to the business arena. However, these women are breaking through the glass ceiling and holding onto their C-level titles. From entertainment moguls, musicians, healthcare professionals and food and drink executives, the following ladies have proved to the nation – and the world for that matter – that females can step up to the plate and run the most powerful brands.
Indra Nooyi – PepsiCo
Indra Nooyi is the Chairman and CEO of PepsiCo and tops the list of our top female business leaders – she manages the largest portfolio of food and beverage brands, including 19 different product fleets that amount for more than $1 billion in annual retail sales. Think Pepsi is the only brand you’d recognize? PepsiCo also manages Quaker Oats, Tropicana, Frito-Lay and Gatorade, which reaches more than 200 countries. The company employs about 300,000 people across the globe and brings in approximately $60 billion in revenue.
Nooyi became President and CEO on October 1, 2006 and is the chief architect of the company’s multi-year growth strategy, Performance with Purpose, which focuses on promoting sustainable growth by investing in a healthier lifestyle for people and the planet. Other important milestones during her rein at the top include the creation and success of YUM! Brands, Inc., the acquisition of Tropicana and the merger with Quaker Oats, and the merger with PepsiCo’s anchor bottlers. (Salary for 2010: $1.3 million)
Irene Rosenfeld – Kraft Foods
Irene Rosenfeld took up shop at Kraft Foods in June 2006 after the company branched off from Altria Group. She implemented a three-year turnaround plan to drive the company’s profits skyward and today, is a $48 billion, global name that’s on the favorite snack foods list for many across the world. She served on the team that spearheaded Kraft Foods’ IPO in 2001 and made the initial moves to acquire British candymaker Cadbury. Rosenfeld also served as CEO of Frito-Lay from 2004 to 2006. (Salary for 2010: $1.5 million)
Oprah Winfrey – Oprah Winfrey Network
Oprah Winfrey just ended her 25th season of the Oprah Winfrey Show and she’s still leading the pack in business celebrity powerhouses. The TV host turned self-made billionaire has also helped to launch the careers of several TV faces with her Harpo production company. The Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN) is still chugging along and promises stay-at-home moms and women across the nation engaging television on women’s lifestyles, A Ha! moments, and stories to empower. We can imagine she’s taking the summer off before she conquers yet another industry and philanthropy. (Salary for 2010: $290 million)
We were a bit hesitant to add a singer/songwriter to our list of the top female business leaders. But then we started looking at the numbers and couldn’t deny the provocative woman’s approach to business. She began playing piano at age four, started writing songs at 13, and today, the singer is worth a cool $110. She has an incredible following of more than 10 million Little Monsters on Twitter and more than 36 million friends on Facebook. With all of those connections out in social media land, it’s no wonder she’s climbing not only the musical charts, but also the ranks in top business women. Read more about Gaga in this month’s Business Celebrity blog. (Salary for 2010: $90 million)
Angela Braly – WellPoint, Inc.
Angela Braly has been the President, chairwoman and CEO of health benefits company WellPoint since June 2007 and also spend a few years as director of Procter & Gamble. She owns $4.6 million worth of WellPoint stock equating to .02 percent of the company. She’s dambled into all sorts of managerial positions in the healthcare industry, including serving as EVP, general counsel and chief public affairs officer for WellPoint and general counsel for RightCHOICE, which is now Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield, in Missouri. (Salary for 2010: $1.14 million)