Oprah Winfrey

The Most Powerful Women in Business

With an economy that is still having difficulties, some organizations are having a tough time, as well as the individuals who run them. However, there are those who find, even in economic difficult times, ways to keep their organization going strong and rise to the top. While many think that men run the business world, there are many women who are making great progress for themselves and their organizations. Here are the top 10 most powerful business women:

1. Sheryl Kara Sandberg

Sheryl Kara SandbergSheryl Kara Sandberg is an American technology executive, activist, and author. She is the Chief Operating Officer of Facebook and founder of Lean In Foundation. In June 2012, she was chosen to the board of directors by the current board members, becoming the first woman to serve on Facebook’s board. She is the best-selling author of Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead.

2. Indra Krishnamurthy Nooyi

indra-nooyiIndra Nooyi is Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of PepsiCo. Mrs. Nooyi leads one of the world’s biggest convenient food and beverages companies, with 2008 annual revenues of more than $43 billion. The company’s products are sold in roughly 200 countries, and it employs more than 198,000 individuals globally. Its principal business includes Frito-Lay snacks, Gatorade sports drinks, Pepsi-Cola beverages, Quaker meals and Tropicana mindset. In total, the PepsiCo portfolio contains 18 brands that generate $1 billion or more each in annual retail sales.

3. Oprah Gail Winfrey

oprah-winfreyOprah Gail Winfrey is an American entrepreneur, TV show host, philanthropist, actress, and producer. She is the only female Africa American billionaire with the roughly net worth of $2.9 billion as of October 2016. She’s the chairman of Harpo, Inc., and is one of a handful of women who are self-made billionaires.

4. Meg Whitman

meg-whitmanMeg Whitman is Chief Executive Officer and President of Hewlett-Packard Enterprise. Formerly, Meg served as Chief Executive Officer and President for Hewlett-Packard Company from 2011 through 2015, as well as the Chairman of the Board from 2014 through 2015, leading the company’s turnaround and subsequent separating into two companies; HP Inc. and Hewlett-Packard Enterprise, Meg is also the Chairman of the Board of HP Inc.
Meg served as Chief Executive Officer and President of eBay Inc. from 1998 to 2008, where she oversaw its development from 30 employees and $4 million in annual revenue to more than 15,000 employees and $8 billion dollars in annual revenue.

5. Maria Das Graças Silva Foster

maria-dasMaria das Graças Silva Foster is a chemical engineer and a Brazilian business executive. Ms. Maria Das Graças Silva Foster served as the President of Petróleo Brasileiro S.A. – Petrobras from Feb. 13, 2012, to Feb. 4, 2015, its Universal Director since July 23, 2012, and also served as its Member of Executive Officers Board. She was the first woman in the world to head a major oil-and-gas company. She served as Chief Gas and Energy Officer of Petroleo Brasileiro since Sept. 21, 2007. She served as a Director of Gas and Energy of Petroleo Brasileiro since Sept. 21, 2007. She served as the Chief Executive Officer of Petroquisa since Sept. 2005 and also served as President of Petrobras Distribuidora since May 2006. She served as Executive Manager of Petrochemicals and Fertilizers for Petrobras since Sept. 2005 and was accountable for investor relations at Petroquisa since Sept. 2005. She served as Secretary of Oil, Natural Gas, and Renewable Fuels under the Ministry of Energy from 2003 to 2005.

6. Christine Madeleine Odette Lagarde

christine-lagardeChristine Madeleine Odette Lagarde is a France attorney and politician who has been the Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) since 5 July 2011. Lagarde was the first woman to become minister of finance of a G8 economy and is the first woman to head the International Monetary Fund. A noted antitrust and labor attorney, Lagarde was the first female chairwoman of the international law firm Baker and McKenzie between 1999 and 2004.
Previously, she held various ministerial posts in the France government: she was the Minister of Economic Affairs, Finance and Employment and before that Minister of Fishing and Agriculture and Minister of Trade in the government of Dominique de Villepin.

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7. Virginia Marie Ginni Rometty

virginia-ginniGinni Rometty started her career with IBM in 1981 in Detroit. Since then she has held a sequence of leadership positions, lately as senior vice president and group executive, IBM sales, strategy, and marketing. Recently, she served as senior vice president, IBM Global Business Services, where she led the effective incorporation of PricewaterhouseCoopers Consulting. This acquisition was the biggest in professional services history, creating a global team of more than 100,000 services professionals and business consultants.
Mrs. Rometty serves on the board of trustees of Northwestern, the University Council on Foreign Relations and the board of overseers and board of managers of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center.

8. Ursula M. Burns

burnsMs. Ursula M. Burns has been the Chief Executive Officer of Xerox Corporation since July 1, 2009, and has been its Chairman since May 20, 2010. Ms. Burns served as an Executive Vice President at Xerox Corporation. Ms. Burns served as the Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of Catalyst, Inc. and serves as its Director. She served as the President at Xerox Corporation from Apr. 3, 2007, to July 2009. She worked as a Senior Vice President and President of Business Group Operations of Xerox Corporation from Dec. 2002 to April 2007 and its Corporate Senior Vice President from Apr. 2000 to April 3, 2007. She served as an Executive Assistant to the Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of Xerox Corporation from 1991 to 1992 and in various other positions at Xerox Corporation from 1982 to 1991. She joined Xerox in 1980 as a Mechanical Engineering summer intern, where she was accountable for global research, manufacturing, engineering and marketing of Xerox technology and supplies. From 1992 to 2000, Ms. Burns served as Vice President and General Manager of a sequence of Xerox Businesses, such as the Office Network Copying Business, Office Color and Facsimile Business, Work Group copier Business and Xerox’s Departmental Business Unit.


9. Georgina Hope Gina Rinehart

georgina-hopeMrs. Rinehart was born in West Australia. She spent her childhood between the Pilbara, in northwest Australia, where she resided with her parents, Lang and Hope Hancock, on large sheep and cattle properties in the remote and rugged iron ore area, and boarding school at an Anglican girls’ school in Perth. Since becoming Executive Chairman of the Hancock Prospecting Group (HPPL) in 1992, she has been accountable for the protection and significant development of the company group. She is known for her pro-business activism on issues such as taxes and government control, Rinehart had become Australia’s richest person and one of its most powerful women by the early 21st century.

10. Irene Blecker Rosenfeld

irene-rosenfieldIrene Rosenfeld was born in Westbury, New York. She holds a Ph.D. in Marketing and Statistics, an M.S. in Business, and a B.A. in Psychology from Cornell University. She has been involved in the food and beverage industry for about 30 years. She is the CEO and Chairwoman of Mondelēz International one of the world’s biggest snack food manufacturers. The company was spun off from Kraft Foods in Oct 2012. She served as the chair, Industry Affairs Council, Grocery Manufactures of the United States. She also served as the member, board of directors, Foods and Customer Products Manufacturers of Canada.