The 50 Most Powerful Women in Business: Global edition

Updated: Aug 27, 2015 6:12 PM UTC | Originally published: Feb 06, 2014
Photo: Andrew Harrer\/Bloomberg\/Getty

Mary Barra

Title: CEO
Company: General Motors
Country: USA
The first woman to run a global automaker, Barra oversees more than 212,000 employees in 396 GM facilities on six continents. An electrical engineer who has spent her entire career at GM (gm), the new CEO faces big challenges in the U.S., where market share is at a historical low and profit margins are below Ford's, and Europe, where GM's Opel brand has lost billions. But companywide, profits are back, and Barra has the board's approval to invest to make GM prosper again.

Virginia (Ginni) Rometty<\/h1>\nIBM is a company known for long-term vision and long-term employees. Rometty is no exception: She came to Big Blue as a systems engineer in 1981 after graduating from Northwestern with a degree in computer science and electrical engineering at Northwestern and doing a two year stint at the General Motors Institute (a condition of her college scholarship). Though Rometty excelled at engineering, her rise to the managerial ranks was swift, and she is best known for her work transforming IBM from a technology company to a broader business solutions firm. She led IBM's skillful integration of PricewaterhouseCoopers Consulting, a $3.5 billion acquisition. But as long as Rometty has been at Big Blue, she's not afraid to change it. In fact she's afraid not to: \"Never love something so much that you can't let go of it,\" she said at Fortune<\/em>'s Most Powerful Woman Summit<\/a> last year. \"And you have to reinvent.\" Photo: Krista Kennell\/Fortune Most Powerful Women

Title: Chairman, President and CEO
Company: IBM
Country: USA
Despite a recent earnings miss that prompted Rometty to give up her bonus, IBM
(ibm) remains formidable on the global stage, with customers and employees in 170 countries. She sees big opportunity especially in Africa; she'll visit several countries there this year. With a market capitalization of almost $200 billion, IBM is the world's most valuable woman-helmed company.

Photo: FABRICE COFFRINI\/AFP\/Getty Images

Indra Nooyi

Title: Chairman and CEO
Company: PepsiCo.
Country: USA
Nooyi has more than doubled sales from outside the U.S. in her seven years running PepsiCo (pep). International markets now make up about half of the company's $65.5 billion in revenue. Indian-born Nooyi has made sure her product pipeline reflects her consumer base: Since 2012, "innovation centers" have popped up in Shanghai, Hamburg, and Monterrey, Mexico.

Courtesy: Petrobras-Petroleo Brasil

Maria das Graças Silva Foster

Title: CEO
Company: Petrobras
Country: Brazil
At no. 25, Petrobras, with annual revenues of $144 billion, is the highest-ranking woman-led company on the Fortune Global 500. Foster faces Many challenges: She is selling off assets to shore up the energy company's balance sheet even as she plans to spend $237 billion on production and exploration projects.

Courtesy: DuPont

Ellen Kullman

Title: Chairman and CEO
Company: DuPont
Country: USA
Kullman's reinvention of DuPont has a distinctly international flavor to it: Her 2011 acquisition of Danish food enzyme maker Danisco was key to an effort to push the company deeper into agriculture and nutrition (along with biotech and advanced materials). A third of the company's sales, $15.5 billion in the past six months, come from developing markets.

Photo: Jason Riker

Irene Rosenfeld

Title: Chairman and CEO
Company: Mondelez
Country: USA
After Rosenfeld split Kraft (krft)in two, she took the reins of the more international entity (and gave it an exotic-sounding name): Mondelez (mdlz), a snack maker, gets 83% of its revenue from outside the U.S., and Rosenfeld has invested accordingly. Last year the company said it would spend $190 million to build the largest chocolate manufacturing plant in India.

Courtesy: Lockheed Martin

Marillyn Hewson

Title: President and CEO
Company: Lockheed Martin
Country: USA
Hewson is making a big push to increase international sales, which make up 17% of revenue. (Pretty much everything else is sold to the U.S. government.) The defense contractor has 10 international buyers for its F-35 fighter jet. But even when Lockheed Martin (lmt) doesn't sell to foreign clients, its products have a huge indirect impact on global diplomacy.

Photo: Suhaimi Abdullah\/Getty

Meg Whitman

Title: CEO
Company: Hewlett Packard
Country: USA
Some of Whitman's biggest battles are playing out on the global stage, with HP (hpq) rival Lenovo (lnvgf), a China-based company, now bulking up in servers. (Lenovo has already unseated HP as the world's No. 1 PC maker.) And indeed, the whole world is watching to see if Whitman can deliver a long-awaited turnaround of the iconic company.

Courtesy: Archer Daniels Midland

Patricia Woertz

Title: Chairman, President and CEO
Company: Archer Daniels Midland
Country: USA
The Australian government stymied Woertz's global expansion plans when it blocked ADM's (adm) $3 billion bid to buy the country's largest grain company. Despite the setback, Woertz has serious international credibility: The $89-billion-a-year-in-revenue company not only produces food nearly everywhere but also moves freight around the world through its logistics division.

Gail Kelly<\/h1>\nAge: 57
\nManaging director and CEO, Westpac
\nAustralia (2)Photo: Brendon Thorne\/Getty


Gail Kelly

Title: Managing Director and CEO
Company: Westpac Group
Country: Australia
Kelly is just about as global as they come: Born in South Africa to British parents, she taught Latin in Zimbabwe before becoming a banker and moving to Australia. Her Westpac, with $43.6 billion in revenue, is the country's second-largest bank by market value, and with about a 70% return during Kelly's six-year tenure, it is also one of the country's top performers.

Sheryl K. Sandberg<\/h2>\n\n\n\n\nCourtesy: Facebook


Sheryl Sandberg

Title: COO
Company: Facebook
Country: USA
As the No. 2 of Facebook (fb), which is available in some 70 languages and generates more than half its revenue from outside the U.S.,Sandberg plays a critical role in fostering global conversations. She's also trying to spread her personal message of career empowerment: Her career book, Lean In, has been translated into more than 20 languages.

<h1>Phebe Novakovic<\/h1>\nNovakovic walked into a tough job when became CEO in January. Some recent acquisitions have disappointed, and defense spending is declining. The new CEO has responded by cutting costs. (A bright spot: General Dynamics' Gulfstream jet business.)Courtesy: General Dynamics

Phebe Novakovic

Title: Chairman and CEO
Company: General Dynamics
Country: USA
General Dynamics (gd) is slowly but steadily increasing its international operations, which now make up 20% of revenue—up from 18% in 2010. The defense company may be benefiting from new wealth in emerging markets. Sixty-five percent of the backlog in her aerospace unit, which produces Gulfstream jets, comes from international orders.

Safra A. Catz<\/h2>\nCatz's responsibilities at the software giant are far-reaching. She has been the company's president since 2004, a title she now shares with ex-HP chief Mark Hurd. In 2011, she also took on the CFO job -- a position she held before, in the mid-2000s. As if that weren't enough, Catz also heads up the company's prolific mergers and acquisitions machine. She can take credit for close to 100 deals representing tens of billions of dollars. It's little wonder, then, that Catz regularly tops the ranks of highest paid women. According to Oracle's latest proxy, her compensation for the last fiscal year exceeded $50 million. Courtesy: Oracle


Safra Catz

Title: Co-President and CEO
Company: Oracle
Country: USA
Most big decisions at Oracle (orcl), whose software is part of the essential fabric of a huge swath of the Global 500, have Catz's seal of approval— a degree of control that makes her one of the most powerful figures in technology. The Israeli-born Catz is also a key figure in Oracle's acquisition strategy; this past year she completed seven acquisitions worth nearly $5 billion.


Marissa Mayer

Title: President and CEO
Company: Yahoo
Country: USA
A celebrity in her home country, Mayer is starting to step onto the world stage. She was co-chair of the recent World Economic Forum's annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland. And while Mayer's turnaround of Yahoo's (yhoo) domestic operations is a work in progress, its international play, a 24% stake in Chinese e-commerce company Alibaba, remains a bright spot.

Alison Cooper<\/h1>\nAge: 47
\nCEO, Imperial Tobacco Group
\nBritain (7)Courtesy: Imperial Tobacco Group


Alison Cooper

Title: CEO
Company: Imperial Tobacco
Country: Britain
Cooper has offset falling volumes at the $23-billion-in-revenue tobacco giant (brands include Davidoff and Gauloises) by investing in growth markets such as Kazakhstan and revamping her offerings in the U.S. and Russia. Later this year she'll launch an e-cigarette.

Courtesy: Sabanc\u0131 Holding

Güler Sabanci

Title: Chairman and Managing Director
Company: Sabanci Holding
Country: Turkey
Under Sabanci's leadership, the family's business has forged partnerships with the likes of Aviva, Citigroup, and E.ON. (One of Sabanci's companies supplies the buses used by Google and Facebook employees to travel to work.) Sabanci is on the Siemens supervisory board, and she's lobbying for Turkey's inclusion in the European Union.

Courtesy: P&G

Deb Henretta

Title: Group President, Global Beauty
Company: Procter & Gamble
Country: USA
Henretta is trying to enliven a portfolio of brands (Pantene, Cover Girl, and others) responsible for nearly a quarter of company revenue despite flat sales. P&G (pg) continues to court customers in emerging markets, territory Henretta knows well: She lived in Singapore for seven years while heading P&G's Asia business.

Photo: Simon Dawson\/Bloomberg\/Getty

Chanda Kochhar

Title: Managing Director and CEO
Company: ICICI Bank
Country: India
Kochhar leads India's second-largest bank, a sprawling organization with $124 billion in assets, $1.5 billion in profit, and 3,588 branches. Though the bulk of ICICI's business is done in India and with companies operating there, the bank is in 19 countries and does brisk business transferring money from expats to families back in India.

Courtesy: Avon

Sheri McCoy

Title: CEO
Company: Avon
Country: USA
McCoy joined Avon (avp) in April 2012 from Johnson & Johnson (jnj) to turn around the direct seller of beauty products. McCoy has exited underperforming countries like South Korea and Vietnam but remains committed to other parts of Asia and to Latin America, where door-to-door selling resonates and represents a moneymaking opportunity for everyday women.

Courtesy: Google

Susan Wojcicki

Title: SVP, Ads & E-Commerce
Company: Google
Country: USA
Google's (goog) highest-ranking woman, Wojcicki spends the majority of her time at company headquarters in Mountain View, Calif. (Not surprisingly, she uses technology and videoconferencing to connect with product managers and engineers in 10 countries.) A particular focus: serving small advertisers in countries that are just gaining access to the Internet. On Feb. 5, Google announced that Wojcicki is replacing Salar Kamangar (Google employee No. 9) as head of YouTube. The move allows Wojcicki to manage her own Google division, after years overseeing Google's massive advertising and commerce platforms, and continue to boost YouTube's ad revenue: eMarketer estimates it grew 61% in 2013, netting $1.96 billion.

Ornella Barra<\/h1>\nAge: 59
\nChief executive, pharmaceutical wholesale division, Alliance Boots
\nBritain (12)Courtesy: Alliance boots


Ornella Barra

Title: Chief Executive, Wholesale and Brands
Company: Alliance Boots
Country: Britain
Barra recently added the pharmaceutical group's international health and beauty business to her busy list of assignments. The expanded role means Barra is responsible for $27 billion—some 75% of the group's total. She's the ultimate world citizen: She was born in Italy, speaks four languages, works for a Swiss company, and lives in Monaco.

Courtesy: SingTel

Chua Sock Koong

Title: Group CEO
Company: Singapore Telecommunications (SingTel)
Country: Singapore
Chua is swiftly reshaping the $14-billion-in-revenue telecom with unexpected acquisitions, such as U.S.-based mobile advertising company Amobee for $321 million in 2012. Expect more such deals. The CFO-turned-CEO says she has earmarked about $1.6 billion for strategic digital acquisitions in the next three years.

Photo: Casper Hedberg\/Bloomberg\/Getty

Annika Falkengren

Title: President and Group Chief Executive
Company: Skandinaviska Enskilda Banken (SEB)
Country: Sweden
Falkengren, an SEB lifer, successfully navigated the storied bank (it was founded and is controlled by Sweden's Wallenberg family) through the worldwide banking crisis. The stock is up 45% in the past 12 months, vs. 16% for the broader market. Falkengren sits on the supervisory board of Volkswagen.

Courtesy: Xerox

Ursula Burns

Title: Chairman and CEO
Company: Xerox
Country: USA
Although Xerox's (xrx) share price climbed 69% in 2013, revenue growth remains elusive. As Burns continues to search for her company's sweet spot, she's been snapping up corporations abroad, including Germany-based Invoco Holding, a customer-care services provider, and Toronto's CPAS Systems, a pension administration software firm with a global clientele.

Carol Meyrowitz<\/h1>\nMeyrowitz has continued the $26-billion-in-revenue retailer's hot streak: five consecutive years of customer traffic gains, and 17 consecutive years of EPS growth. In September the company launched a new T.J. Maxx e-commerce site.Courtesy: TJX Companies


Carol Meyrowitz

Title: President, CEO and Director
Company: TJX Companies
Country: USA
While her retailer does most of its business in North America, Meyrowitz is disproving the notion that American store operators can't thrive in Europe. After a tough year across the pond in 2010, Meyrowitz slowed European store growth and reaped the rewards: TJX's European profits more than tripled in fiscal 2013 over the previous year.

Courtesy: Temasek Holdings

Ho Ching

Title: CEO
Company: Temasek Holdings
Country: Singapore
The sovereign wealth fund she manages has more than tripled its portfolio to $173 billion since she took over as CEO a decade ago. The Stanford-educated Ho is married to Singapore's Prime Minister, Lee Hsien Loong, but hers is not a political appointment. Temasek lately has been investing in Chinese banks and Western oil and gas companies such as Chesapeake Energy.

EXECUTIVE PORTRAIT - Anne Sweeney, Co-Chair, Disney Media Networks, and President, Disney | ABC Television Group. (DISNEY\/ABC\/Bob D'Amico)Bob D'Amico Disney\/ABC Television Group

Anne Sweeney

Title: Co-chair, Disney Media Networks; President, Disney/ABC Television Group
Company: Disney
Country: USA
The networks Sweeney oversees—including ABC and Disney Channels Worldwide—span 166 countries and reach over 431 million homes a month. One notable success story: Disney on demand viewership in France rose 62% between July 2012 and July 2013.

Patricia Barbizet<\/h1>\nBarbizet manages the Pinault family's holding company, which includes businesses like Christie's auction house, Groupe FNAC (retail distribution), and Kering (ex-PPR), the worlds third largest luxury group (think Gucci, Bottega Veneta and YSL). Profits shot up 214% to of $614 million in 2012, on revenues of $14 billion, up 19%. Heavyweight board seats like Total, Air France-KLM, and most recently PSA Peugeot Citroen (the French car maker), are a testament to her business savvy. She jumps to No. 13<\/a>, up seven spots.Courtesy: Art\u00e9mis Holding

Title: CEO
Company: Artémis Holding
Country: France
Barbizet heads the wealthy Pinault family's holding company, with $41 billion in assets, overseeing businesses ranging from Christie's auction house to Kering (formerly PPR), home to Gucci, Bottega Veneta, and Puma. Powerful board seats like Air France--KLM, Total, and PSA Peugeot Citroën validate her global clout.

Renee JamesCourtesy: Intel

Renée James

Title: President
Company: Intel
Country: USA
The computing power at James's fingertips reaches far: A majority of data centers worldwide run on Intel products, and 75% of the chipmaker's revenue comes from outside the U.S. Since becoming president last year, James is driving Intel's strategy and especially its move into mobile, an area where it has lagged.

Title: CEO
Company: Mylan
Country: USA
Less than two years into her tenure as CEO, Bresch in December closed a $1.75 billion deal to buy Agila, a division of India's Strides Arcolab, making Mylan
(myl) a top contender in the global injectables market. She also just hired a top executive from rival Pfizer to help Mylan grow in Latin America and expand branded products such as EpiPen, Mylan's biggest specialty item.

Courtesy: Ingredion

Ilene Gordon

Title: Chairman, President and CEO
Company: Ingredion
Country: USA
Ingredion is no longer just in the business of corn products and sweeteners (though it remains one of the world's leading makers of dextrose), and it isn't only serving traditional manufacturers anymore. Gordon sees big opportunity in the Middle East and Africa, now 8% of revenue, and Asia (13% of revenue).

Sam Peach Productions Ltd

Carolyn McCall

Title: CEO
Company: EasyJet
Country: Britain
McCall's three-year effort to turn around the no-frills European airline is paying off: By adding reserved seating and other features, the former publishing executive produced record profits last year and rewarded shareholders with about a half-billion-dollar one-time dividend—and an almost $11 billion market cap.

Courtesy: Industrial Bank of Korea

Kwon Seon-joo

Title: Chairman and CEO
Company: Industrial Bank of Korea
Country: Korea
In December, Kwon became the first female to head a bank in Korea. With assets of about $200 billion, the state-owned entity is reportedly the 105th-largest bank in the world. Kwon, who was an English literature major in college, wants to expand to serve small and medium-size firms in emerging markets.

Isabelle Ealet<\/h1>\nAge: 50
\nGlobal co-head Securities Division, Goldman Sachs
\nBritain (22)Coutesy: Goldman Sachs


Isabelle Ealet

Title: Global Co-Head, Securities Division
Company: Goldman Sachs
Country: Britain
French-born, London-based Ealet leads Goldman's largest division by revenue, with $15.7 billion last year. (Her portfolio includes fixed income, commodities, currency, and stock trading for clients.) Her revenue took a big hit in 2013, falling 13% from a year earlier, and going forward, analysts say, regulation could further hem profits.

Zhang Xin<\/h1>\nAge: 48
\nChina (return)Photo: Jerome Favre\/Bloomberg\/Getty


Zhang Xin

Title: CEO
Company: SOHO China
Country: China
Though her real estate company is relatively small (about $2.5 billion in revenue), Zhang may be China's most internationally renowned businesswoman, thanks to her high-profile development projects with architect Zaha Hadid and her co-ownership of Manhattan's GM Building. (Oh, and she had a cameo role in Oliver Stone's Wall Street sequel.)

Angela Ahrendts

Angela Ahrendts

Title: CEO
Company: Burberry
Country: Britain
Ahrendts is a bit of a lame duck as she hands the reins at the British fashion house to successor Christopher Bailey. But expect her to skyrocket up the ranking after she takes on her next role as Apple's (aapl) head of retail and online stores, a portfolio with 20 billion in sales (about $17 billion more than at Burberry).