The Most Powerful Women of Europe, the Middle East and Africa

Updated: Oct 05, 2014 3:57 PM UTC | Originally published: Sep 18, 2014

For 16 years, Fortune has ranked the most powerful women in American business. For almost as long, we have done the same for the most powerful women outside of America.

This year we’re trying something new. In February, Fortune launched its first-ever Most Powerful Women Global edition, and in this issue we have created a ranking for two segments of the world where women are making the most progress: Europe, the Middle East, and Africa (EMEA), and the Asia-Pacific region. (We did not include women from less well-represented areas, such as Maria das Graças Foster, CEO of Brazilian oil giant Petrobras. She topped our MPW International list in 2013.)

Our franchise is expanding for good reason: More and more businesswomen are taking tougher jobs and helming bigger firms. Women in the EMEA region had a big year. Moya Greene (No. 6), the first woman to head Royal Mail, Britain’s postal service, took it private and then oversaw its $3 billion IPO last October. Liv Garfield (No. 14), just 39 years old, took charge at British water company Severn Trent, becoming the youngest female executive ever on the FTSE 100. And on Sept. 10, Ana Botín hurtled to the top of the list when, following her father’s death, she was named head of Banco Santander, with $1.5 trillion in assets. Click here to see our list of Asia-Pacific women and meet the power women shaping the new world order in the EMEA below.

(Note: #s in parentheses were from last year's rankings)

Ana Patricia Botin

1. Ana Botín, 53

Chairman
Banco Santander
Spain (22)

Alison Cooper, chief executive officer of Imperial Tobacco Group Plc, poses for a photograph following an interview at the London Stock Exchange Group Plc's (LSE) headquarters in London, U.K., on Tuesday, Oct. 30, 2012. Imperial Tobacco Group Plc, Europe's second-biggest cigarette maker, reported higher operating profit as the maker of Davidoff cigarettes increased prices to combat declining shipments in Europe. Photographer: Chris Ratcliffe\/Bloomberg via Getty ImagesBloomberg Bloomberg via Getty Images

2. Alison Cooper, 48

CEO
Imperial Tobacco Group
Britain (8)
Few would describe tobacco as a smoking hot industry, but Cooper, whose four-year tenure has been largely focused on cost-cutting, gave Imperial some momentum earlier this year with the $7.1 billion acquisition of a number of US cigarette brands—including Winston, Kool, and Salem, and importantly, Blu, the market-leading e-cigarette. The purchase makes Imperial a real player (#3 by market share) in the US and gives the company, which posted a 1% revenue decline in 2013, a shot at growth. Cooper started her career as an accountant and is known to enjoy Cuban cigars.

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3. Güler Sabancı, 59

Chairman and Managing Director
Sabanci Holding
Turkey (2)

Annika Falkengren, chief executive officer of SEB AB, speaks during the Banks In Transition Conference in Frankfurt, Germany, on Wednesday, Sept. 3, 2014. The two day event, organised by Euroforum Deutschland SE brings together key figures from the financial sector. Photographer: Martin Leissl\/Bloomberg via Getty ImagesBloomberg Bloomberg via Getty Images

4. Annika Falkengren, 52

President and CEO
SEB
Sweden (5)

Carolyn McCall, chief executive officer of EasyJet Plc, poses for a photograph in Moscow, Russia, on Tuesday, March 19, 2013. \"Moscow is a landmark route,\" McCall said in a briefing before the departure of yesterdays inaugural flight to Russia, adding that bookings have generally exceeded expectations, with \"huge\" and unanticipated demand for inbound tickets from Russia to the carrier's London base. Photographer: Chris Ratcliffe\/Bloomberg via Getty ImagesBloomberg Bloomberg via Getty Images

5. Carolyn McCall, 53

CEO
easyJet
Britain (9)

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6. Moya Greene, 60

CEO
Royal Mail
Britain (new)
Greene became the first woman (not to mention Canadian) to head up the Royal Mail, the U.K.’s five-century-old postal service in 2010. The milestones have continued: she took the state-owned institution private and then oversaw its $3 billion IPO last October. With 150,000 employees, Royal Mail, which took in $15 billion in revenues in 2013, is one of Britain’s biggest employers. Greene has experience making change: as a civil servant in Canada, she oversaw the privatization of the country’s rail service and the deregulation of its airline industry.

New CEO of Belgian telecommunications company Belgacom Dominique Leroy speaks during a press conference of the Belgacom board of directors to present the company's new CEO on January 9, 2014, at the Belgacom headquarters in Brussels. Dominique Leroy, who previously held the function of Belgacom Executive Vice-President Consumer Business Unit, is the successor of Didier Bellens, who was discharged last November. AFP PHOTO \/ BELGA \/ LAURIE DIEFFEMBACQ **BELGIUM OUT** (Photo credit should read LAURIE DIEFFEMBACQ\/AFP\/Getty Images)AFP AFP\/Getty Images

7. Dominique Leroy, 49

CEO
Belgacom
Belgium (new)
It’s not easy running a state-owned telecom. Leroy became CEO of Belgacom—Belgium has a 53.5% stake—in January after her boss was canned for speaking too critically about regulations imposed by its largest shareholder (among other things, 4G has been slow to come to Brussels because of radiation protections.) She’s the first woman to head the $8.6 billion business, and the first Belgacom executive to be paid under a new law that caps annual pay of state-owned enterprises at $650,000 Euros ($840,000; her predecessor made $3.4 million). Leroy, who will serve a six-year term, joined the telecom in 2011 after 24 years at Unilever.

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8. Ornella Barra, 60

Chief Executive
Wholesale and Brands, Alliance Boots
Britain (11)

Ornella Barra has always thought big. She trained as a pharmacist, and after a short stint in a local pharmacy, she decided to open her own. She then moved into the wholesale business and partnered with an entrepreneur, Stefano Pessina, who has been her professional and personal partner ever since. That business has developed into Alliance Boots, the global $35 billion drug and beauty chain (Pessina is Executive Chairman). As head of Wholesale and Brands at Alliance Boots, Barra oversees a business that operates in 25 countries and accounts for 80% of revenues. This year she led Alliance Boots into Latin America, and when its merger with Walgreen is finalized later this year, the company will become the largest purchaser of prescription drugs on the planet. Barra will be one of the new behemoth’s most senior executives.

DEAUVILLE, France: French President of the Supervisory Board of Pinault, Primtemps-Redoute Patricia Barbizet poses during the first edition of the \"Women's forum for the Economy and Society\", 15 October 2005 in Deauville, Western France. The Forum gathers more than 500 leaders from the economic, political, social, academic, scientific and cultural spheres from 13 to 15 October at the International Center of Deauville. AFP PHOTO JEAN-PIERRE MULLER (Photo credit should read JEAN-PIERRE MULLER\/AFP\/Getty Images)JEAN-PIERRE MULLER AFP\/Getty Images

9. Patricia Barbizet, 59

CEO
Artémis Holding
Vice Chair
Kering
France (13)

Maria Ramos, chief executive officer of South Africa's Absa Group, moderates an interactive session titled \"Rethinking Africa's Growth Strategy\" during day two of the 2010 World Economic Forum (WEF) annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland, on Thursday, Jan. 28, 2010. The organizing theme for this year's meeting is \"Improve the State of the World: Rethink, Redesign, Rebuild.\" Photographer: Chris Ratcliffe\/Bloomberg via Getty ImagesBloomberg Bloomberg via Getty Images

10. Maria Ramos, 55

Group CEO
Barclays Africa
South Africa (10)

Photo by Taco Anema\/Wolters Kluwer

11. Nancy McKinstry, 55

Chairman and CEO
Wolters Kluwer
Netherlands (14)

Dominique Senequier, Chief Executive of AXA Private Equity, speaks during the Reuters Private Equity forum in Paris September 8, 2010. REUTERS\/Mal Langsdon (FRANCE - Tags: BUSINESS HEADSHOT) - RTR2I2BZ\u00a9 Mal Langsdon \/ Reuters Reuters

12. Dominique Senequier, 61

President
Ardian
France (16)

Harriet Green, chief executive officer of Thomas Cook Group Plc, listens to a guest speaker, during the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) annual conference at the Grosvenor House hotel in London, U.K., on Monday, Nov. 19, 2012. U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron said he plans to make it harder to apply for judge-led reviews of government decisions in the U.K., arguing the current system and other red tape are holding back projects needed to boost growth. Photographer: Simon Dawson\/Bloomberg via Getty ImagesBloomberg Bloomberg via Getty Images

13. Harriet Green, 52

CEO
Thomas Cook Group
Britain (18)

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14. Liv Garfield, 39

CEO
Severn Trent
Britain (21)

Serpil Timuray, CEO of Vodafone Turkey, speaks during a news conference during the anniversary of Vodafone's fifth year in the country, in Istanbul May 26, 2011. REUTERS\/Osman Orsal (TURKEY - Tags: ANNIVERSARY BUSINESS) - RTR2MXE4\u00a9 Osman Orsal \/ Reuters REUTERS

15. Serpil Timuray, 45

Regional CEO AMAP
Vodafone
Britain (new)
In January, the former CEO of Vodafone Turkey was promoted to oversee Africa, Middle East, Asia, and the Pacific (AMAP)—probably in part because Vodafone’s Turkish revenue almost doubled in four years under her watch. The task is huge: Timuray is responsible for 70% of the group’s subscribers in 13 countries and $25 billion in revenue. The former Danone Turkey CEO and P&G marketing executive is one of only two women in the British telecommunications company’s C-Suite.

Lubna S. Olayan, chief executive officer of Olayan Financing Co. of Saudi Arabia, takes part in a panel discussion on the future of employment on day one of the 2010 World Economic Forum (WEF) annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland, on Wednesday, Jan. 27, 2010. The organizing theme for this year's meeting is \"Improve the State of the World: Rethink, Redesign, Rebuild.\" Photographer: Chris Ratcliffe\/Bloomberg via Getty ImagesBloomberg Bloomberg via Getty Images

16. Lubna Olayan, 59

Deputy Chairperson and CEO
Olayan Financing
Saudi Arabia (25)

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17. Elizabeth Corley, 57

CEO
Allianz Global Investors
Britain (19)

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18. Pascale Witz, 47

Executive VP, Global divisions and Strategic Development
Sanofi
France (new)
Responsible for almost 50% of the French drug maker’s sales, Witz, 47, was recruited last year from GE Healthcare, where she served as CEO of medical diagnostics. Charged with setting the group’s strategic direction, the biologist also has direct oversight of key growth businesses like diabetes, oncology, and consumer healthcare.

19. Mariana Gheorghe, 58

CEO
OMV Petrom
Romania (27)

20. Olga Pleshakova, 47

CEO
Transaero Airlines
Russia (46)

21. Ceri Powell, 51

Global Head of Exploration
Royal Dutch Shell
Netherlands (29)
When Powell, a company lifer, took charge of Shell’s global exploration last year, she became the highest-ranking female executive at the group, with a budget of almost $4 billion. Since then the geologist has led new discoveries in Australia, Malaysia, Nigeria, the Gulf of Mexico, and Albania among others, while also making the call to withdraw from explorations in Libya. British firm Carillion Plc. nominated her to its board this year.

LONDON, ENGLAND - JANUARY 12: Procter and Gamble Group President of Western Europe, Mary Lynn Ferguson-McHugh poses during a P&G Western European Media event at Vinopolis on January 12, 2011 in London, England. (Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos\/Getty Images for P&G)Dean Mouhtaropoulos 2012 Getty Images

22. Mary Lynn Ferguson-McHugh, 55

Group President, Europe
Procter & Gamble
Switzerland (28)

Margarita Louis-Dreyfus, main shareholder of French football club Olympique de Marseille poses on December 6, 2011 in Paris. AFP PHOTO \/ FRED DUFOUR (Photo credit should read FRED DUFOUR\/AFP\/Getty Images)Photograph by Fred Dufour \u2014 AFP\/Getty Images

23. Margarita Louis-Dreyfus, 52

Chairperson of Supervisory Board
Louis Dreyfus Holding
Switzerland (new)
Margarita Louis-Dreyfus took control of the secretive agriculture commodities firm (the world’s third largest, with revenue of $64 billion in 2013) after her husband, Robert Louis-Dreyfus, died in 2009. The 160-year-old, privately-held French commodities leviathan is one of the largest cotton and rice traders and orange juice processors in the world. Hit with tough industry conditions, the group’s net income fell 42% in 2013 to $640 million, but the Russian-born majority owner is leading a transformation; she remade the supervisory board and has launched an active search for a new CEO.

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24. Isabelle Ealet, 51

Global co-head Securities Division
Goldman Sachs
Britain (20)

Angeliki Frangou, chairman and chief executive officer of Navios Maritime Partners LP, speaks during a Bloomberg Television interview in New York, U.S., on Wednesday, Dec. 8, 2010. Navios Maritime Partners stock is up about 30 percent this year while the stock of Navios Maritime Acquisition is down over 60 percent. Photographer: Jonathan Fickies\/Bloomberg via Getty ImagesBloomberg Bloomberg via Getty Images

25. Angeliki Frangou, 49

Chairman and CEO
Navios Group of Companies
Greece (Return)