Meet the Newcomers on Fortune’s 2016 Most Powerful Women International List

September 9, 2016, 11:30 AM UTC
TECH TITAN: A CONVERSATION WITH JENNIFER LIJennifer Li, Chief Financial Officer, BaiduInterviewer: Pattie Sellers, Senior Editor at Large, Fortune; Executive Director, MPW/Live Content, Time Inc.- See more at:
TECH TITAN: A CONVERSATION WITH JENNIFER LI Jennifer Li, Chief Financial Officer, Baidu Interviewer: Pattie Sellers, Senior Editor at Large, Fortune; Executive Director, MPW/Live Content, Time Inc. - See more at:
Philipp Engelhorn — Fortune Most Powerful Women

Fortune‘s Most Powerful Women International list features a host of new faces this year—eight in all. The newbies are a diverse bunch, including two CEOs of British companies, an exec at the world’s largest food company, two high-ranking execs of Chinese companies, the CEO of the world’s biggest branded footwear maker, and female execs at pharmaceutical and manufacturing giants.

Here’s a look at the new members of the 2016 list:

At No. 14, the highest ranked newbie is: Wan Ling Martello, Nestle’s head of Zone AOA—Asia, Oceania, and Africa. A former Walmart executive and Nestle CFO, she was tapped for the role in April 2015 at a time of crisis: the $15 billion division, key to Nestle’s emerging markets strategy, was faltering in China. At almost the same time, a food safety scare involving Nestle’s Maggi noodle brand erupted in India. Martello cleaned up the mess quickly and got the business back on track.

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Then there’s No. 34 Jennifer Li, the CFO of Baidu. The GM alum, who joined China’s internet search giant in 2008, has been compared to Sheryl Sandberg for encouraging women to be more ambitious in their careers. As Baidu’s No. 2, she helped guide the company to tremendous growth—in 2015, a tough year for most Chinese companies, revenues increased 32% and profits by 150%, to $10.6 billion and $5.4 billion.

At No. 36 is Jean Liu, who’s been president of ride-hailing service Didi Chuxing since last year. Liu, the daughter of Lenovo founder Liu Chuanzhi, has been in the news lately for leading Didi to victory over Uber after a two-year-long battle to snap up mainland China’s ride-hailers. Now that Uber has agreed to merge with Didi, the new company is worth an estimated $35 billion.

The footwear business propelled Tsai (Patty) Pei-Chun, CEO of Pou Chen, to No. 37 on the list. At the age of 32 in 2012, Tsai took charge from her father, who founded the company, now the biggest branded footwear maker in the world, with $8.5 billion in revenues. The group employs over 400,000 workers producing about 300 million shoes annually for high-profile customers such as Nike, Adidas, Reebok, Puma, Under Armour, and New Balance.

Alison Brittain, CEO of Whitbread, which owns Costa Coffee shops and budget hotel brand Premier Inn, is No. 39. As head of retail banking at Lloyds Banking Group, Brittain was considered one of the most powerful women in British banking, but she left for Whitbread in December 2015. At Whitbread, which reported $4.4 billion in revenue last year, an increase of 4%, Brittain has a goal of boosting Costa’s sales by over 50% by 2020.

This year, Erica Mann, a newcomer to the list, became the first-ever woman to hold a seat on the Management Board at Bayer, the 150-year-old German pharmaceutical company. Ranked No. 40, the Basel, Switzerland-based exec also heads the drugmaker’s Consumer Health division, an estimated $6.7 billion business that she has led—and grown—since 2011. In the position, she oversaw the acquisitions of Dihon Pharmaceuticals of China, Steigerwald of Germany and Merck’s Consumer Care unit.

The next newbie is Anne Richards, CEO of M&G Investments. Richards, No. 45 on the list, took over as the first female chief exec of M&G in June, after serving as global chief investment officer and head of EMEA region at Aberdeen Asset Management. During her 13 years there, its market cap rose from about $167 million to $3.2 billion, prompting comparisons between her departure and that of Bill Gross leaving Pimco.

Finally, there’s Linda Hasenfratz, CEO of Canada’s Linamar. Clocking in at No. 50 on the list, Hasenfratz started as a machine operator at her father’s auto-parts factory in 1990 and changed it into a manufacturing firm making products for a range of industries such as agriculture and renewable energy. Revenue has nearly tripled to $3.7 billion in 2015 since her father, a Hungarian immigrant, put her in charge in 2002.


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