- TitleCEO and President
- CompanyLifeway Foods
Smolyansky’s Lifeway and its yogurt-like kefir have helped make probiotics sexy while benefitting big time from the natural and health food wave. Gross sales hit $109 million in 2013, up from $12 million in 2002, the year Smolyansky became the youngest female CEO of a publicly traded company after her father, the company’s founder, died of a heart attack. She’s invested heavily in R&D, rolling out new products like a children’s line, savory flavors, and frozen kefir. A recently acquired Wisconsin facility will let the company increase production capacity five-fold—which would make Lifeway the largest kefir manufacturer in the world. Along with her role on the U.N. Foundation’s Global Entrepreneurs Council, Smolyansky has also gotten involved in producing movies on social issues like teenage homelessness and sexual assault on college campuses.