Wan Ling Martello
Head of Asia, Oceania and Africa, Nestlé, 58
Martello, a former Walmart executive and Nestle CFO, has run the world’s largest food company’s Zone AOA—Asia, Oceania, and Africa (92 countries)—since April 2015. She was tapped for the role at a time of crisis: the $15 billion division, key to Nestle’s emerging markets growth strategy, was faltering in China. Then, in Martello’s second month on the job, a food safety scare involving Nestle’s ubiquitous Maggi noodle brand erupted in India. That scandal, from which Nestle has still not fully recovered, cost the company hundreds of millions of dollars. But Martello gets credit for cleaning up the mess quickly and getting business back on track. Even so, Martello, a Chinese-American who grew up in the Philippines and who serves on Alibaba’s board, will not be Nestle’s next top boss; Ulf Mark Schneider, the CEO of Fresenius, a German healthcare company, was named Paul Bulcke’s successor in June.