There are now 20 female CEOs running America’s largest companies. That paltry number of 4% is actually a record. Help shed light on the top female CEOs and business leaders of the world.
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Marissa Ann Mayer (born May 30, 1975) is an American business executive. As of 2012 she is the president and CEO of Yahoo!. Previously, she was a long-time executive and key spokesperson for Google. She is the youngest CEO of a Fortune 500 company and has been ranked number 14 on the list of America's most powerful businesswomen of 2012 by Fortune magazine.
Sheryl Kara Sandberg (born August 28, 1969) is an American businesswoman. She has served as the chief operating officer of Facebook since 2008. In June 2012, she was also elected to the board of directors by the existing board members, becoming the first woman to serve on its board. Before Facebook, Sandberg was Vice President of Global Online Sales and Operations at Google. She also was involved in launching Google's philanthropic arm Google.org. Before Google, Sandberg served as chief of staff for the United States Department of the Treasury. In 2012, she was named in Time 100, an annual list of the 100 most influential people in the world assembled by Time.
Oprah Winfrey (January 29, 1954) is an American media proprietor, talk show host, actress, producer, and philanthropist. Winfrey is best known for her self-titled, multi-award-winning talk show, which has become the highest-rated program of its kind in history and was nationally syndicated from 1986 to 2011. She has been ranked the richest African-American of the 20th century, the greatest black philanthropist in American history, and was for a time the world's only black billionaire. She is also, according to some assessments, the most influential woman in the world.
Arianna Huffington (born July 15, 1950) is a Greek-American author and syndicated columnist. She is best known for her news website The Huffington Post. A popular conservative commentator in the mid-1990s, she adopted liberal political beliefs in the late 1990s. She is the ex-wife of former Republican congressman Michael Huffington.
In 2003, she ran as an independent candidate for Governor in the California recall election. In 2009, Huffington was named as number 12 in Forbes' first-ever list of the Most Influential Women In Media. She has also moved up to number 42 in The Guardian's Top 100 in Media List.
In 2011, AOL acquired The Huffington Post for US$315 million and made Huffington president and editor in chief of The Huffington Post Media Group, which included The Huffington Post and then-existing AOL properties such as Engadget, AOL Music, Patch Media, and StyleList.
Angela Dorothea Merkel (born 17 July 1954) is the Chancellor of Germany and party leader of the Christian Democratic Union (CDU). Merkel is the first woman to have become Chancellor of Germany.
A physical chemist by professional background, Merkel entered politics in the wake of the Revolutions of 1989 and briefly served as the deputy spokesperson for Lothar de Maizière's democratically elected East German government prior to the German reunification. Following reunification in 1990, she was elected to the Bundestag, where she has represented the state of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern since. She served as Federal Minister for Women and Youth 1991–1994 and as Federal Minister for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety 1994–1998 in Helmut Kohl's fourth and fifth cabinets. She was Secretary General of the CDU 1998–2000, and was elected chairperson in 2000. From 2002 to 2005, she was also chair of the CDU/CSU parliamentary coalition.
Hillary Diane Rodham Clinton (born October 26, 1947) is the 67th United States Secretary of State, serving in the administration of President Barack Obama. She was a United States Senator for New York from 2001 to 2009. As the wife of the 42nd President of the United States, Bill Clinton, she was the First Lady of the United States from 1993 to 2001. In the 2008 election, Clinton was a leading candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination.
Michelle LaVaughn Robinson Obama (born January 17, 1964) is the wife of the 44th and incumbent President of the United States, Barack Obama, and the first African-American First Lady of the United States. Raised on the South Side of Chicago, Obama attended Princeton University and Harvard Law School before returning to Chicago and to work at the law firm Sidley Austin, where she met her future husband. Subsequently, she worked as part of the staff of Chicago mayor Richard M. Daley, and for the University of Chicago Medical Center.
Throughout 2007 and 2008, she helped campaign for her husband's presidential bid. She delivered a keynote address at the 2008 Democratic National Convention and also spoke at the 2012 Democratic National Convention. She is the mother of daughters, Malia and Sasha. As the wife of a Senator, and later the First Lady, she has become a fashion icon and role model for women, and an advocate for poverty awareness, nutrition, and healthy eating.
Christine Madeleine Odette Lagarde (born 1 January 1956) is a French lawyer and Union for a Popular Movement politician who has been the Managing Director (MD) of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) since 5 July 2011. Previously, she held various ministerial posts in the French government: she was Minister of Economic Affairs, Finances and Industry and before that Minister of Agriculture and Fishing and Minister of Trade in the government of Dominique de Villepin. Lagarde was the first woman ever to become finance minister of a G8 economy, and is the first woman to ever head the IMF.
Melinda French Gates (born August 15, 1964) is an American businesswoman and philanthropist. She is the wife of Bill Gates. She is the co-founder and co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and a former unit manager for several Microsoft products such as Publisher, Microsoft Bob, Encarta, and Expedia.
Jill Ellen Abramson (born March 19, 1954) is the executive editor of The New York Times. Assuming the position in September 2011, she became the first woman in this role in the paper's 160-year history.
Indra Krishnamurthy Nooyi (born 28 October 1955) is an Indian-born, naturalizedAmerican, business executive and the current Chairperson and Chief Executive Officer of PepsiCo, the second largest food and beverage business in the world by net revenue. According to Forbes, she is consistently ranked among the World's 100 Most Powerful Women. In 2013, she has been ranked 10th in the list of Forbes World's 100 most powerful women.