Most Powerful Women in The World
1. Marillyn Hewson
- TITLE Chairman, President, and CEO
- AFFILIATION Lockheed Martin
- AGE 65
Despite ongoing global uncertainty, from international sanctions to a U.S.-China trade war, Hewson continues to execute at Lockheed Martin. The defense contractor’s sales rose 8% last year on a record number of orders, and its massive F-35 fighter jet program is steadily ramping up—in spite of some unexpected hurdles, including the U.S. decision to nix Turkey’s plans to buy more than 100 of the planes. The company is making up for the lost business with a major new F-35 deal that’s in the works with the Department of Defense, as well as a $1.1 billion contract to provide helicopters to the Navy. Investors seem to back Hewson’s strategy, sending the stock price up 16% in the past year, outpacing the S&P 500 and the industry. The CEO’s influence continues to grow: She joined the board of Johnson & Johnson this year.
2. Mary Barra
- TITLE Chairman and CEO
- AFFILIATION General Motors
- AGE 57
GM’s sales flatlined in 2018, but Barra made some shrewd moves to position America’s largest automaker for future success. While the trade war has brought sluggish demand from China, GM is leaning into pickup trucks, which have been selling well in the U.S. Barra is pushing forward with her grand plan to have 20 new electric-vehicle models on the market by 2023. GM debuted Cadillac’s first all-electric car in January. Her latest challenge: Facing the longest nationwide strike against GM in nearly 50 years.
3. Abigail Johnson
- TITLEChairman and CEO
- AFFILIATION Fidelity Investments
- AGE 57
Fidelity posted record numbers for both revenue ($20.4 billion) and profits ($6.3 billion) in 2018, but perhaps the most notable sign of the company’s success is the $309 billion in new client money that flowed into its accounts last year—a nearly 20% increase over 2017. Johnson has wooed new customers by ruthlessly besting Fidelity’s rivals on everything from fees to yields on cash accounts.
4. Ginni Rometty
- TITLE Chairman, President, and CEO
- AFFILIATION IBM
- AGE 62
IBM’s $34 billion purchase of enterprise software company Red Hat is not only Big Blue’s biggest deal ever but one of the largest tech deals of all time. Rometty is pitching the acquisition as key to IBM’s “hybrid cloud strategy,” in which clients manage their infrastructure in both internal data centers and the cloud. The deal could define Rometty’s tenure, which has seen sales shrink 20% over five years to $79.6 billion.
5. Gail Boudreaux
- TITLE President and CEO
- AFFILIATION Anthem
- AGE 59
Boudreaux is spearheading the charge to modernize—and personalize—the health care space. Anthem has released two apps, one of which lets users see their claims history and lab data. On Boudreaux’s watch, Anthem has accelerated the launch of its own pharmacy benefits manager, IngenioRx, migrating customers onto the platform in May. IngenioRx is expected to provide $4 billion of gross pharmacy savings annually, primarily to customers through more affordable health care. Boudreaux has poached several employees from Apple to boost Anthem’s tech push. Rounding out her busy year, the health care vet is overseeing the acquisition of behavioral health organization Beacon Health Options, announced in June.
6. Sheryl Sandberg
- TITLE COO
- AFFILIATION Facebook
- AGE 50
Sandberg’s job seems to center more and more on defending Facebook from its critics. In July, the Federal Trade Commission slapped the social network with a record $5 billion fine to settle claims that it mishandled users’ personal data; now some politicians are considering an antitrust probe. The negative attention hasn’t dented growth, at least so far: In 2018, revenue came in at $55.8 billion, up 37% year over year.
7. Phebe Novakovic
- TITLE Chairman and CEO
- AFFILIATION General Dynamics
- AGE 61
Increased military spending and a loosening of policies related to selling arms to foreign governments helped boost U.S. defense contractors in 2018—and General Dynamics was no exception. Under Novakovic’s leadership, GD hit $36.2 billion in revenue last year, a 17% gain over 2017—thanks in part to the acquisition of information tech firm CSRA and an increase in its business servicing aging planes.
8. Safra Catz
- TITLE Co-CEO
- AFFILIATION Oracle
- AGE 57
Oracle suffered a blow when the Pentagon axed the database giant from bidding for JEDI, the massive Department of Defense cloud contract, worth up to $10 billion. Catz and Oracle have persistently challenged the DOD’s bidding process, filing appeals intended to put the company back in the running. In September, Catz’s purview expanded internally when her co-CEO, Mark Hurd, took a medical leave of absence.
9. Julie Sweet
- TITLE CEO
- AFFILIATION Accenture
- AGE 51
Sweet rockets up our list after becoming Accenture’s global CEO in September. In her new role, she oversees more than $40 billion in revenue and almost 500,000 employees. Sweet has had a rapid rise at the consulting and tech company; she joined in 2010 as general counsel and compliance chief and was tapped to lead North America in 2015. As CEO of that region, Sweet drove nearly half of Accenture’s total revenues and propelled its expansion into growth areas like cloud and security. Now, Sweet says, it’s “full steam ahead” on Accenture’s current strategy—including more big acquisitions like its April purchase of ad agency Droga5.
10. Ruth Porat
Alphabet still relies on Google’s enormous online advertising business to generate the bulk of its sales, which jumped 23% to $136.8 billion in 2018. But investors are looking to Porat and the executive team to diversify by nurturing other businesses. Porat has stressed that Alphabet is directing significant resources toward its enterprise cloud business, and she was instrumental in hiring a top finance executive for Google’s cloud unit. The business isn’t as mighty as Amazon’s or Microsoft’s yet, but Porat is hoping that will soon change. She has also overseen some of Google’s big investments in the past year, including $13 billion on new data centers and offices, partly intended to help the cloud business.
11. Tricia Griffith
Revenue and stock price are up once again at Progressive, increasing 19% and 6%, respectively, year over year. The insurer expects to add 10,000 employees in 2019—its biggest hiring year ever. Griffith continues to court customers outside car insurance, in May launching an online quoting tool for small-business owners. The forward momentum led Fortune to name Griffith Businessperson of the Year last November.
12. Susan Wojcicki
Wojcicki is in the hot seat this year, steering YouTube during one of the most crucial moments in the video service’s history as it faces intense scrutiny for its handling of controversial content. YouTube and parent company Google also agreed to pay a $170 million fine over its data-collection tactics as they pertain to children. Ethics aside, YouTube is still massive, estimated to bring in up to $25 billion in sales.
13. Kathy Warden
Warden has gotten off to a strong start at Northrop Grumman since taking over as CEO—becoming the first woman to hold the job—at the beginning of 2019. The defense giant’s stock price is up about 50% since then, as she has scored almost $26 billion in new contracts in the first two quarters of 2019. In August, Warden took on the additional title of chairman after former CEO Wes Bush retired from that role.
14. Shari Redstone
After years of conflict with former CBS chief Les Moonves, his loyal board of directors, and her own father, Redstone pulled off a stunning coup that now has her positioned as chair atop a $30 billion media empire formed by the reunification of CBS and Viacom. With the merger expected to close by the end of the year, ViacomCBS will boast a library of 3,600 film titles and 140,000 TV episodes and has control over well-known brands such as Paramount, Nickelodeon, Comedy Central, and MTV. The move gives ViacomCBS a chance to compete against the likes of Disney, NBCUniversal, and WarnerMedia, all while establishing Redstone as the most powerful woman in U.S. media.
15. Judith McKenna
McKenna oversees a stunning $121 billion in revenue as head of Walmart’s international division. She’s shown no qualms about making equally big moves, such as her plan to invest $1.2 billion in the company’s China supply chain. In April, McKenna hit a setback when regulators blocked the merger of Walmart’s U.K. operation, Asda, with Sainsbury’s; she’s pivoted and is now considering an IPO for the business.
16. Amy Hood
Microsoft’s epic transition into a cloud-computing giant would not have been possible without Hood, who works closely with CEO Satya Nadella. She convinced Wall Street that Microsoft should invest heavily in cloud, and analysts are now projecting that the resulting Azure business is giving rival Amazon its toughest competition ever. The stock continues to reach record highs, with the market cap topping $1 trillion.
17. Karen Lynch
In November, drugstore giant CVS acquired health insurer Aetna to become the world’s largest publicly traded health care company—and quickly tapped Lynch, who came in through the deal, to run Aetna, expected to be a $70 billion business. CVS is the first company to attempt to combine a pharmacy with an insurer and clinical care, and Lynch has a chance to inherit the whole conglomerate one day.
18. Corie Barry
After spending two decades at Best Buy, working her way up through the finance department, Barry was promoted from CFO to the top job in June, replacing Hubert Joly—who is credited with saving the big-box electronics retailer. Now the 44-year-old Barry, who also serves on the board of Domino’s Pizza, is charged with not just keeping Best Buy relevant as Amazon and other e-commerce players crowd in but also growing its sales both in stores and online. She has some experience with that: Barry oversaw strategic transformation and growth before becoming CEO, laying the groundwork for the turnaround that propelled her up the executive ranks. Her age makes her one of the youngest Fortune 500 CEOs.
19. Lynn Good
On Good’s watch, Duke expanded its footprint in renewables, adding 500 megawatts of solar in its home state of North Carolina in the past year. The company had to restore 3 million outages to its 7.7 million customers during the 2018 storm season, with Hurricanes Michael and Florence hitting service areas hard. Sales edged up 4% in 2018 to $24.5 billion, but the stock showed some pep, climbing 14% year over year.
20. Ann-Marie Campbell
Since being promoted to run all of Home Depot’s U.S. stores in 2016, Campbell has hit nearly $100 billion in sales. She’s giving stores a refresh, which has helped grow transactions as well as the amount customers spend. The future is more uncertain: In August, the 40-year-old DIY retailer lowered its sales forecast for the year, citing concerns about lumber prices and the impact of tariffs on consumers.
21. Marianne Lake
In an unusual move, JPMorgan Chase shook up its executive ranks this spring in order to give Lake, its former CFO, more business operating experience. The switch to the new role—which encompasses card, home, and auto lending—puts Lake in charge of just a fraction of the bank’s balance sheet. But insiders say it also makes her a stronger candidate to someday become JPMorgan’s next CEO.
22. Vicki Hollub
Within three years of becoming CEO, Hollub this spring undertook the most audacious move in the oil industry in years: acquiring petroleum producer Anadarko—and beating out rival suitor Chevron. The deal has been unpopular with investors, who have sent the stock down 27% year to date. But it has made Hollub the queen of the Permian Basin, America’s top crude-pumping region, where Oxy has become the No. 1 producer.
23. Pam Nicholson
With 2 million vehicles in Enterprise’s global fleet, Nicholson runs the world’s largest rental-car company. In the past year, she’s been on a dealmaking tear, acquiring travel tech platform Deem, investing in fuel-delivery service Booster, and launching the U.S. car-rental industry’s first vehicle-subscription service. Its $26 billion in 2019 fiscal year revenue ranks Enterprise as one of the country’s largest private companies.
24. Margaret Keane
Synchrony is leaning into e-commerce, with about a third of its retail-card sales volume now coming through online channels. The strategy is paying off as the private-label credit card issuer reaps the rewards of partnerships with digital powerhouses PayPal and Amazon. But it’s not all smooth sailing. Keane’s business is also feeling the pain of its biggest brick-and-mortar retail partners, including J.C. Penney and Gap Inc.
25. Leanne Caret
After growing sales 13% last year, Caret’s military- and space-focused division is a bright spot at troubled Boeing. Her unit’s sales and earnings increased in the first half of 2019, helping offset declines in Boeing’s passenger airplane sales, owing to the 737 Max recall over safety problems. Once Congress approves funding, the Air Force is expected to make its first purchase of Boeing’s F-15 jets in more than a decade.
26. Jennifer Piepszak
JPMorgan Chase continues its track record of female CFOs with the promotion of Piepszak to the role this spring, replacing fellow MPW Marianne Lake. It’s the first bank-wide job for Piepszak, who had previously held CEO titles for card services and business banking. It gives her a much higher profile both inside and outside the bank, positioning Piepszak as another potential candidate to one day take over from CEO Jamie Dimon.
27. Michelle Gass
After a promising start to her stint as CEO, Gass must now steer Kohl’s back to growth after two quarters of sales declines. She urgently needs to revitalize Kohl’s private-label brands and struggling home-goods businesses. Kohl’s big push in activewear, which Gass masterminded before becoming CEO, continues to be a bright spot, with Under Armour bringing in new customers and Adidas preparing to add more shops. The coming year will show whether Gass’s bold bet on handling Amazon returns at Kohl’s stores, a move aimed at drumming up store visits by younger shoppers, will pay off. And observers will be watching to see if a new partnership—in which Facebook data helps Kohl’s choose some of what it will sell—can modernize its business.
28. Roz Brewer
Brewer is using her retail expertise—she’s the former CEO of Walmart’s Sam’s Club—to tune up Starbucks’ operations. The coffee giant has doubled down on popular cold beverages and its best-in-class rewards program, which now counts 17.2 million members. So far, her initiatives are working: In July, the company reported its fastest sales growth in three years.
29. Barbara Rentler
In her five years as CEO, the press-shy Rentler has pushed Ross Stores beyond its California roots. Earlier this year, the company opened its first location in Ohio—its 39th state—as Rentler leads the retailer’s march across the Midwest. The company’s off-price formula, selling branded goods 20% to 60% below department and specialty store prices, is resonating with consumers: Sales increased 6% to just under $15 billion in the company’s last fiscal year, and profits jumped 16.5% to $1.6 billion. Investors also like what they see. The share price is up 12% year over year, versus about 4% for the S&P. Rentler continues to invest in the future, including raising the minimum wage for hourly employees.
30. Mary Callahan Erdoes
Celebrating 10 years atop JPMorgan Chase’s wealth management division, Erdoes last year grew revenue and profits to $14.1 billion and $2.9 billion, respectively—both records. But Erdoes faces reports that she retained accused sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein as a client years after the compliance department advised dumping him. (The bank says that her only interaction with Epstein was firing him as a client.)