This is a woman’s world this time…
10 successful female CEO today
Despite living in this day and age, “It’s a man’s world” seems to apply to many aspects of our society, and big companies are no exception. Women make less money than men, on average – but there is nothing average about the women on this list. Besides, things are nowhere near as grim for women as they used to be a few decades ago; back then, few dared believe women could make so much progress, that there will come a time when the world will have this many women in places of power. These 10 female CEOs had to overcome great adversity, but they finally made it.
We start our list with Beth E. Mooney, CEO of KeyCorp. She is a pioneer, of sorts; the achievement of becoming the first female CEO of one of top 20 U.S. banks is somewhat tarnished by the bad reputation that banks have nowadays. Her annual salary is $2.4 million.
Next, is the CEO of BJ’s Wholesale Club, Laura J. Sen. From 1991 to 2003, her career was on the rise, at which point she took her leave and dabbled in some independent consulting. After her return to the company in 2007, her career continued to prosper and she became CEO in 2009. She makes $4 million a year.
Those who think you can’t be a CEO and a mother never met Patricia Woertz, CEO of Archer Daniels Midland. Living in a man’s world didn’t get her down; she managed work weeks of up to 80 hours, insane schedules and three kids on top of everything. Her contributions to the company involve safety, logistics and sustainability, and the incredible financial performance is in large part, her doing. Her salary: $11.4 million.
Beating her paycheck by mere $0.3 million is Lynn L. Elsenhans, CEO of Sunoco, an oil company. Her tenure marks the high point in oil business in terms of growth and profits; sadly, she stepped down in 2012 but she was the only woman in charge of a major energy company.
It is hard to know if Ursula M. Burns, CEO of Xerox, knew where her ambition would lead her; from a housing project in New York to the first African-American CEO of a Fortune 500 company. The fact that she helped save it from bankruptcy in 2001 also helped. Now she makes $13.2 million each year.
In addition to being a mother of three, Angela Braly is CEO of WellPoint, a healthcare company that has built its reputation on its cheap services. Coincidentally, this was Braly’s general idea. She makes $13.5 million a year.
Ellen Kullman is chairwoman and CEO of DuPont, one of the largest chemical companies in the U.S. as well as a leading manufacturer of food additives. She joined the company in 1988 and started making some serious changes since 2009. She managed to keep the company ahead of the curve with her timely focus on green technologies and biotechnological innovations, rather than staying into the oil-based chemicals, like many on her board suggested at the time. Her annual salary is $14.8 million and she appears to be worth every penny.
Thirsty, anyone? Indra Nooyi’s company, PepsiCo got you covered. She is one of the veterans on this list. She has been the Chairwoman and CEO of PepsiCo for the last fourteen years; her expertise was invaluable during the acquisition of Gatorade, Tropicana and other smaller companies. She was instrumental in the major restructuring of PepsiCo a few years back, and as a result, her company managed to beat their greatest competitor (Coca Cola) in terms of market value for the first time in more than a century. Her annual income is $16.2 million.
The second most successful name on the list is Carol M. Meyrowitz, the president and CEO of TJX, which is a company that made quite a reputation by being a one-stop shop for patrons on a budget; you name it, they got it – at bargain prices, no less. What makes Carol Meyrowitz stand out is her stellar career: from her humble beginnings as an assistant buyer and worked her way up. She ended up in charge of numerous retail brands, where she proved her mettle and now she makes $17.4 million a year.
And now for the big winner. At the top of the food chain (pun intended) is the CEO of Kraft Foods, Irene Rosenfeld: Kraft Foods is currently one of the largest food companies in the world, and at least some credit is due to Irene Rosenfeld. Many believe it was her focus on healthy food as well as her outstanding results that got her appointment as the chairwoman and CEO of Kraft Foods. Her annual salary is $19.3 million.
What all these women have in common is their belief in their abilities and the desire to succeed in this “male-dominated” world. The main criteria for their ranking is their annual income, due to the lack of other, suitable objective criteria. Still, when it comes to top 10 female CEOs, these ladies rule.