1. Indra Nooyi
Chairman and CEO of PepsiCo
Indra Nooyi joined PepsiCo in 1994 and was named president and CFO in 2001. She has directed the company's global strategy for more than a decade and led PepsiCo's restructuring, including the 1997 divestiture of its restaurants into Tricon, now known as Yum!. In 2007 she became the fifth CEO in PepsiCo's 44-year history. Business officials rave at her ability to drive deep and hard while maintaining a sense of heart and fun. According to Business Week, since she started as CFO in 2000, the company's annual revenues have risen 72%, while net profit more than doubled. She's back on top for the fourth year, delivering strong profits on $43 billion in sales. Her August deal to buy Pepsi's two biggest bottlers should produce some $300 million in annual cost savings. One weak spot: Consumers panned the rebranding of Gatorade and Tropicana.
2. Irene Rosenfeld
Chairman and CEO of Kraft Foods
Irene Rosenfeld was appointed Chief Executive Officer of Kraft Foods in June 2006. She was appointed to the additional post of Chairman in March 2007, following Altria Group's spin-off of Kraft. Rosenfeld has worked for 25 years in the food and beverage industry. 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. This pianist and avid Rollerblader has advertised heavily during the recession to keep sales of macaroni and cheese and Kool-Aid flowing. Revenue was up 15% in 2008, and the stock - a recent addition to the Dow 30 - outperformed the S&P over the past year.
3. Pat Woertz
Chairman, CEO, and president of Archer Daniels Midland (ADM)
Patricia Woertz became CEO of ADM in 2006. Formerly an Executive Vice President at Chevron Corporation, Woertz left to pursue CEO opportunities. Born in Pennsylvania in 1953, she studied accounting at Penn State University, graduating in 1974. She first worked for Ernst & Young in Pittsburgh, then moved to Gulf Oil, an Ernst & Young client. There she rose steadily through the ranks. The soybean company's queen has bet big on ethanol, and ADM's stock has risen 15% over the past 12 months. Woertz, who spent three decades in the oil industry before joining ADM, also sits on the Procter & Gamble board.
4. Angela Braly
President and CEO of Wellpoint
Angela Braly received her undergraduate degree from Texas Tech University in 1982 and her Juris Doctor from Southern Methodist University School of Law. In January 1999, Braly joined Wellpoint, a large US-based health care company. Prior to her current position, Braly served as executive vice president, general counsel and chief public affairs officer for WellPoint. In that role, she was responsible for public policy development, government relations, legal affairs, corporate communications, marketing, and social responsibility initiatives. A Texan who started out as a waitress, Braly now runs a $61 billion health insurer with 34 million members - more than any competitor. With a public insurance plan all but off the table, WellPoint's stock is up 71% since March.
5. Andrea Jung
Chairman and CEO of Avon Products
Andrea Jung went from being a lackluster student to attending the Ivy League's Princeton University, and went on to become the CEO of Avon Products. Institutional Investor wrote of Jung, 'How many other chief executives embody their companies the way Andrea Jung does? Sleek, stylishly turned out, with signature pearl choker and mane of sable hair, she is confident and assertive, the perfect image for her newly invigorated Avon Products. Jung is the first female CEO at a cosmetics company who wasn't also its founder.' Jung took the failing company out of the depths of marketing oblivion into a world of young, hip makeup products. She enables millions of women worldwide to work for themselves. Headcount rose 200,000 in the U.S. alone during the first quarter, thanks to the biggest recruiting drive in Avon's history. Jung sits on the GE and Apple boards.
6. Oprah Winfrey
Chairman of Harpo
Credited with creating a more intimate confessional form of media communication, she is thought to have popularized and revolutionized the tabloid talk show genre, which a Yale study claims broke 20th century taboos and allowed LGBT people to enter the mainstream. By the mid 1990s she had reinvented her show with a focus on literature, self-improvement, and spirituality. Though criticized for unleashing confession culture and promoting controversial self-help fads, she is generally admired for overcoming adversity to become a benefactor to others. She has been ranked the richest African American, the greatest black philanthropist in American history, and was once the world's only black billionaire. She's still got the magic touch: When Oprah praised the Kindle, it sold out before Christmas. She's on track to launch OWN, her cable network, to 70 million viewers next year.
7. Ellen Kullman
CEO of DuPont
Kullman studied mechanical engineering at Tufts University where she received her bachelor's degree in 1978. In 1983 she received a master's degree in management from Northwestern University. She began her business career at General Electric and joined DuPont in 1988 as marketing manager in the company's medical imaging business. In her previous role as executive vice president she was responsible for four of DuPont's business platforms as well as leading the company's growth in markets outside the USA. Kullman took the top job in January, making her the first woman to lead the company in its 206 year history. She's reshuffling execs and aiming to trim $1 billion in costs this year.
8. Carol Bartz
CEO of Yahoo
In 1976, Bartz went to work at the manufacturing conglomerate 3M, but left after her request to transfer to the headquarters was denied; she was told that 'women don't do these jobs.' Bartz moved on to the computer industry and became CEO of Autodesk in 1992. According to Forbes, Bartz 'transformed Autodesk from an aimless maker of PC software into a leader of computer-aided design software, targeting architects and builders.' On January 13, 2009, Bartz was named CEO of Yahoo!, the internet services company which operates the third most-visited website in the world. She is betting on display ads, content, and mobile capabilities to give the web pioneer new life. After six months on the job, she forged a deal for Microsoft to power searches on Yahoo.com.
9. Ursula Burns
CEO of Xerox
Burns first worked for Xerox in 1980 as a summer intern and joined a year later after her master's degree. She worked in various roles in product development and planning throughout her 20s. Her career took an unexpected turn when in January 1990 a senior executive offered her a job as his executive assistant. Initially fearing that this would be a dead-end job, she accepted and rose through the ranks, becoming executive assistant to the chairman in 1991 and eventually becoming vice president for global manufacturing in 1999. In 2000 she was named a senior vice president. She was named CEO in July 2009 succeeding Mulcahy. In July, Burns became the first black female CEO on the Fortune 500. With 2008 profits down and the stock trailing the S&P, this straight-talking operator is charged with strengthening a company that's still rebounding from near bankruptcy in 2001.
10. Brenda Barnes
Chairman and CEO of Sara Lee
Barnes became chief executive earlier this year after Sara Lee announced a major restructuring that included the planned sale of product lines totaling $8.2 billion in revenue. At the same time, Barnes is tackling corporate inefficiencies by encouraging shared purchasing between divisions and less bureaucracy. Barnes raised eyebrows when she left PepsiCo in 1998 to spend more time with her family. Ever since Barnes got back on the 'on-ramp' into the corporate world, she has been the most oft-cited example in the business press of a woman who ditched her corporate career to spend time with her family, only to regain corporate power. Since taking the helm in 2005 after a six-year corporate sabbatical, she has shed businesses that made up 40% of revenue. Still, the stock has flagged.