January 30th, 2012
by Dan Gold
Wild Web Women Inspiration: The Most Successful Female CEO’s
Women are an integral part of the business world – from Wall Street to Main Street, women are standing tall as a force to be reckoned, particularly in the male dominated boardrooms of corporate America. While there are currently only 18 women running Fortune 500 companies, it’s inspirational to think that these women have shattered the glass ceiling in spite of tough obstacles often; rejections, slower promotions and juggling work and family pressures. These women persevered!
An article from Business Insurance entitled the Ten Most Successful Female CEO’s of All Time, recognized ten women who embody success. These driven, focused women have helped pave the way for others to succeed and to remind the next generation of determined women to not give up! Here is some Wild Web Woman inspiration to kick-start your week – enjoy!
Patricia Woertz is the CEO of Archer Daniels Midland, a Fortune 500 food production company that operates hundreds of plants used to process crops into food, agricultural, and industrial products. Woertz is also the president and chairman of the board of directors. While Woertz considers herself an ADM “outsider”, she has successfully helped the company gain record financial results by improving their sourcing, transportation, and processing networks with sound investments and planning strategies. Woertz is known for her powerful vision and long list of achievements and recognized by Fortune magazine as the third most powerful woman in 2010.
Laura Sen is the current CEO at BJ’s Wholesale Club, a membership-only warehouse club chain located on the east coast and in the state of Ohio. Sen worked for BJ’s for 14 years before being promoted to executive vice president and considered for the position of CEO. Sen was asked to come back to the company after an unexpected firing and reworking of the company, and appointed executive vice president another time. Sen was promoted to president and chief operating officer within just two years of her return. The following year, she became CEO. Since that time, Sen has taken the company to new levels of success and efficiency with her unique management style and her accessibility to all workers. She has made herself a true success in the business world.
Ellen J. Kullman is the CEO and chair of the board of DuPont, the third largest chemical company in the world. Kullman began at DuPont in 1988 as the marketing manager of the medical imaging business before she was promoted to executive vice president. During this time, she managed four of DuPont’s business platforms and successfully shifted the company’s focus to international markets. As CEO, Kullman has revolutionized how the company handles customer relations and its overall innovation by focusing their decision making to fit that of customer need. Kullman’s keen industry knowledge and innovative leadership and has made her one of the most successful female CEOs of all time.
Gracia C. Martore is the current CEO of Gannett, a media and marketing solutions company. Martore first came to Gannett in 1985 assistant treasurer, then in the 90’s, acquired the position of the VP in the treasury group. She then went on to become the treasurer and vice president/investor relations then senior vice president of finance. Martore rose up the ladder to become the executive vice president and chief financial officer in 2006, and later named president and chief operating officer. Finally, on Oct. 6, 2011, she was appointed to the position of CEO. Martore’s successful rise is a symbol of achievement for female CEOs everywhere. Her accomplishments and dedication to Gannett have are inspirational and a great story of success.
Margaret Whitman, also know as Meg Whitman, the former CEO of eBay, is the current chief executive of Hewlett-Packard. Whitman became CEO of the giant tech corporation In September 2011, after the two former leaders failed to meet the company’s expectations. Whitman brings with her to HP a wealth of knowledge and experience. At eBay, Whitman’s leadership helped the online retailer grow from small start-up to a global giant and household brand name. At HP, Whitman plans to focus on the internal development and providing other corporations, data management services. Whitman also intends to limit big acquisitions and scale back on budget cuts thus improving HP’s finances . Whitman’s innovative ideas, strong leadership skills, and past successes as CEO have things at HP and the technology market in general looking up.
Indra K. Nooyi has served as the CEO of PepsiCo for five years, and has been instrumental in changing the face of the giant food and beverage business. Nooyi’s modern advertising strategies and innovative ideas have excelerated PepsiCo’s exposure and global strengths. She gets credit for helping PepsiCo expand its brand options and include healthy products like Tropicana and Quaker Oats. Nooyi’s bold business moves and strong leadership skills make her one of the most successful, well-known and idolized CEO in the world.
Irene B. Rosenfeld has worked in the food and beverage industry, but her biggest career accomplishment, would be as the current chairman and CEO of Kraft Foods. Rosenfeld has managed Kraft Foods since 2006 and brings to the company’s table many innovative ideas and collaborative efforts. Rosenfeld has helped to restructure the business including improving earnings in the U.S. and international markets. Rosenfeld’s strong work ethic and positive attitude toward collaboration have shown her to be a good leader at Kraft and certainly an influential CEOs of our time.
Carol Meyrowitz is the current CEO of TJX Companies Inc., a leading discount retailer of apparel and home goods, including T.J. Maxx, Marshalls, Winners, HomeGoods, T.K. Maxx, and stores. With TJK Companies for 28 years, Meyrowitz was able to pursue new job opportunities and with each promotion, become a stronger leader. Meyrowitz’s long history with TJX, has given her a deep understanding of off-price retail and established her as an expert in the industry. Company loyalty and hard-earned leadership skills, Meyrowitz is considered as one of the most successful female CEOs of all time.
Beth Mooney is the CEO and chairman of KeyCorp, a bank-based financial service company headquartered in Cleveland. At KeyCorp, Mooney oversees around 15,000 employees and close to $90 billion in assets. KeyCorp under Mooney’s leadership has persevered one of the worst financial crises in U.S. history and managed to become profitable. Mooney’s personal rise to success and dedication, have inspired many businesswomen and non-businesswomen alike to be inspired.
Ursula M. Burns is the current chairman and CEO of Xerox Corporation. Burns’ bio is full of firsts. She is the first woman to succeed another woman as the head of a Fortune 500 company, the first to run a Fortune 500 company and also the first African-American woman CEO. Burns started in 1980 at Xerox as a mechanical engineering intern and later moved to product development and planning. Climbing the corporate ladder, Burns assumed new roles including as senior vice president and later president. Over 25 years and many experiences later, in 2009, Burns became CEO. Burns, has faced many challenges as she tries to improve sales and get customers to buy again. With Burns’ industry knowledge and business smarts, Xerox has been able to tackle some of these issues and prepare for their future in printing.
Success comes with surrounding yourself with people and resources (books, blogs, podcasts) who know what they are doing and who support and believe in you. They push you to go further. Then you DO what they recommend over and over and over until it becomes yours.
Tags: Beth Mooney, blogs, Carol Meyrowitz, Decisive Minds, Ellen J. Kullman, entrepreneur, Gracia Martore, Indra K. Noovi, Inspiration, Irene Rosenfeld, Laura Sen, Margaret Whitman, Meg Whitman, Patricia Woertz, small business owner, Top women CEO's, Ursula M. Burns, Wild Web Women, women CEO's, women in business