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Meet world's 12 most powerful businesswomen

Last updated on: October 7, 2010 14:05 IST

Meet world's 12 most powerful businesswomen

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Three Indians -- PepsiCo chief Indra Nooyi, corporate honchos like India-born Pepsi Co chief Indra Nooyi, Axis Bank's chief executive Shikha Sharma and ICICI Bank's CEO Chanda Kocchar -- have figured in the list of Forbes' 'The World's 100 Most Powerful Women' 2010' released on Thursday.

Nooyi, whose total annual compensation package last year was $10.6 million, nudged a $20 million slice of the company's $616-million-a-year ad budget away from traditional to social media spends.

Indra Nooyi: Rank 6

PepsiCo chief recently completed the purchase of the company's two largest bottlers, bringing revenues to a projected $60 billion. She was also ranked as the world's second most powerful businesswoman by Forbes.

Forbes said Pepsi's worldwide campaign, Pepsi Refresh, allocates $1.3 million each month for a US project, such as the recent 'Do Good For the Gulf,' which offers stipends to build a shelter for animals whose owners lost their homes to the oil spill and to provide mental health services and job training.

"Brands have to speak to millenniums; young people want to make a difference," Forbes quoted 54-year-old Nooyi as saying.

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Image: Indra Nooyi.

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Sikha Sharma: Rank 89

Axis Bank's chief executive was recently in the news as her take home pay was declared to be in excess of Rs 2 crore (Rs 20 million) a year.

She assumed office at Axis Bank in June last year.

Referring to Sharma, Forbes said with the first year of her three-year term as CEO of India's third-largest private bank behind her, "it's time look forward" for the 49 year old.

For Sharma, "much of the tough transitional work is over, including fighting the very public opposition to her getting the job from outgoing Axis chairman PJ Nayak."

For some one who had never previously worked in a bank, Sharma is focusing on introducing a retail broking platform and the possibility of expanding internationally. "Every job comes with its tough decisions, and this has not been any different," Sharma says, pointing specifically to "getting the right organisation structure in place" and "mapping the team to the best fit roles."

The upside is a net profit for Q1 2010-2011 of $160 million and for FY 2009-2010 of $542.5 million.

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Image: Sikha Sharma.

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Chanda Kochhar: Rank 92

ICICI Bank managing director and CEO, the 49-year-old Kochhar took charge of India's largest private sector bank last year and swiftly put her own stamp on the business.

Kocchar, who is 'the first woman to run a large Indian bank,' expanded her role as chief with her recent acquisition of Bank of Rajasthan, a private sector bank with 463 branches and 4,000 employees.

Last month, ICICI, India's largest private bank and the country's fourth largest, launched its first retail branch in Singapore 48, Forbes said.

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Image: Chanda Kochhar.

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Irene Rosenfeld: Rank 2

Rosenfeld was appointed CEO of Kraft Foods in June 2006. She was appointed to the additional post of chairman in March 2007. She is the world's second most powerful woman after American First Lady Michelle Obama. She also has been named by Forbes as the worold's most powerful businesswoman.

She holds a Ph.D. in marketing and statistics, a Master of Science in Business Administration, and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from Cornell University.

In 2008 she was placed sixth on The Wall Street Journal's '50 Women to Watch' list. In 2009, Forbes ranked her the 6th most powerful woman.

In 2009 alone, Rosenfeld earned total compensation of above $26 million.

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Image: Irene Rosenfeld.

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Oprah Winfrey: Rank 3

The talk-show queen and media mogul has always maintained that she grew up so poor in rural Mississippi that she never had any new dresses or dolls and could only keep cockroaches as pets. Forbes named her as the world's third most powerful woman and the second most powerful businesswoman.

However, a new biography has claimed that Winfrey was spoiled as a child.

She has been ranked the richest African American of the 20th century, greatest black philanthropist in American history and was once the world's only black billionaire.

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Image: Oprah Winfrey.

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Gail Kelly: Rank 8

Kelly, chief executive, Westpac, is an Australian and South African business person. She is the world's fourth most powerful businesswoman.

In 2002, she became the first woman CEO of a major Australian bank or top 15 company and, as at 2005, was the highest paid woman at an Australian corporation.

She took up the position of CEO at Westpac in 2008.

Prior to this, she served as chief executive officer and managing director of St.George Bank for five and a half years. During this period, St.George doubled its assets and net profit.

Gail also worked at the Commonwealth Bank. Gail began her career at Nedcor Bank, one of the largest banks in South Africa.

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Image: Gail Kelly.

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Angela F Braly: Rank 12

Braly is president and chief executive officer for WellPoint, Inc, a large US-based health care company. She was named the world's fifth most powerful businesswoman.

Braly received her undergraduate degree from Texas Tech University in 1982 and her Juris Doctor from Southern Methodist University School of Law. She graduated from Richardson High School in 1979.

She was recognised by the St. Louis Business Journal as one of the 25 Most Influential Women in Business for 2000 and was named one of Modern Healthcare's Top 25 Women in Healthcare in 2007.

Forbes listed Braly as the sixteenth most powerful woman in the world in 2007, fourth most powerful in 2008, and eighth most powerful in 2009.

As of April 2009, Braly had the 306th highest compensation for a US CEO, having earned $4.07 million.

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Image: Angela F Braly.

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Cynthia Carroll: Rank 14

Carroll is the chief executive of Anglo American, a British mining firm which is also the world's biggest producer of platinum. She was named the world's sixth most powerful businesswoman.

On October 24, 2006, Carroll was hired by Anglo American, and joined the board in January 2007, becoming chief executive at the beginning of March 2007.

She chairs Anglo American's Executive Committee and sits on the Safety and Sustainable Development Committee. She is the first non-South African to hold the post with Anglo American.

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Image: Cynthia Carroll.
Photographs: Finbarr O'Reilly/Reuters
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Sheila Bair: Rank 15

Bair is the chairman of the US Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation . She was appointed to the post for a five-year term on June 26, 2006 by George W. Bush. Bair will also serve as a member of the FDIC Board of Directors through July 2013.

Forbes named her the world's seventh most powerful businesswoman.

Prior to her appointment at the FDIC, Bair was the Dean's Professor of Financial Regulatory Policy for the Isenberg School of Management at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, a post she had held since 2002.

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Image: Sheila Bair.

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Mary Schapiro: Rank 17

Schapiro is the 29th chairperson of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

She was named the world's eighth most powerful businesswoman.

She was designated as the intended nominee by then-President-elect Barack Obama on December 18, 2008, and formally nominated upon Obama's inauguration into office on January 20, 2009.

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Image: Mary Schapiro.

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Ellen Kullman: Rank 18

CEO and President of DuPont, the 53-year-old Ellen Kullman gets a salary of $4.4 million. Forbes named her the world's ninth most powerful businesswoman.

Ellen is the 19th executive to lead the company in more than 205 years of DuPont history. She became president on October 1, 2008, and CEO on January 1, 2009.

Ellen began her career at DuPont in 1988 as marketing manager in the medical imaging business.

DuPont is currently the world's second largest chemical company in terms of market capitalisation and fourth in revenue terms.

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Image: Ellen Kullman, CEO, DuPont, USA, at a session at the World Economic Forum in Davos.
Photographs: Christian Hartmann/Reuters
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Ursula Burns: Rank 20

Ursula M Burns serves as chairwoman and CEO of Xerox. She was named the world's tenth most powerful businesswoman by Forbes.

She is the first African-American woman CEO to head a S&P 100 company.

She is also the first woman to succeed another woman as head of a S&P 100 company.

Burns serves on numerous professional and community boards, including American Express.


Image: Ursula Burns.

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