1. Indra Nooyi
Chairman and CEO of Pepsi Co
Indra Nooyi joined PepsiCo in 1994 and was named president and CFO in 2001. She has directed the company's global strategy for more than a decade and led PepsiCo's restructuring, including the 1997 divestiture of its restaurants into Tricon, now known as Yum!. In 2007 she became the fifth CEO in PepsiCo's 44-year history. Business officials rave at her ability to drive deep and hard while maintaining a sense of heart and fun. According to Business Week, since she started as CFO in 2000, the company's annual revenues have risen 72%, while net profit more than doubled. She's back on top for the fourth year, delivering strong profits on $43 billion in sales. Her August deal to buy Pepsi's two biggest bottlers should produce some $300 million in annual cost savings. One weak spot: Consumers panned the rebranding of Gatorade and Tropicana.
2. Irene Rosenfeld
Chairman and CEO of Kraft Foods
Irene Rosenfeld was appointed Chief Executive Officer of Kraft Foods in June 2006. She was appointed to the additional post of Chairman in March 2007, following Altria Group's spin-off of Kraft. Rosenfeld has worked for 25 years in the food and beverage industry. She holds a Ph.D. in Marketing and Statistics, a Master of Science in Business Administration, and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from Cornell University. This pianist and avid Rollerblader has advertised heavily during the recession to keep sales of macaroni and cheese and Kool-Aid flowing. Revenue was up 15% in 2008, and the stock - a recent addition to the Dow 30 - outperformed the S&P over the past year.
3. Pat Woertz
Chairman, CEO, and president of Archer Daniels Midland (ADM)
Patricia Woertz became CEO of ADM in 2006. Formerly an Executive Vice President at Chevron Corporation, Woertz left to pursue CEO opportunities. Born in Pennsylvania in 1953, she studied accounting at Penn State University, graduating in 1974. She first worked for Ernst & Young in Pittsburgh, then moved to Gulf Oil, an Ernst & Young client. There she rose steadily through the ranks. The soybean company's queen has bet big on ethanol, and ADM's stock has risen 15% over the past 12 months. Woertz, who spent three decades in the oil industry before joining ADM, also sits on the Procter & Gamble board.
4. Angela Braly
President and CEO of Wellpoint
Angela Braly received her undergraduate degree from Texas Tech University in 1982 and her Juris Doctor from Southern Methodist University School of Law. In January 1999, Braly joined Wellpoint, a large US-based health care company. Prior to her current position, Braly served as executive vice president, general counsel and chief public affairs officer for WellPoint. In that role, she was responsible for public policy development, government relations, legal affairs, corporate communications, marketing, and social responsibility initiatives. A Texan who started out as a waitress, Braly now runs a $61 billion health insurer with 34 million members - more than any competitor. With a public insurance plan all but off the table, WellPoint's stock is up 71% since March.