Nooyi tops Forbes businesswoman list

Written by Agencies | New York, August 28: | Updated: Aug 28 2008, 21:57pm hrs
Led by soft drink giant PepsiCo's India-born chief Indra Nooyi, business executives account for nearly two-third of the world's 100 most powerful women's list compiled by US magazine Forbes.

Chennai-born Nooyi has moved up to the third rank in this year's list, from the fifth last year, to become the top-ranked among all the corporate chiefs on the list.

The list has been topped by Germany's Chancellor Angela Merkel, followed by Sheila C Bair, who chairs the US government agency Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.

The Pepsico chief is followed by health insurance company WellPoint's President and CEO Angela Braly, diversified mining group Anglo American CEO Cynthia Carroll and Kraft Foods CEO and chairperson Irene B Rosenfeld.

Besides, Singapore Government's investment arm Temasek Holdings' CEO Ho Ching has dropped to the eighth place in the list this year from the third rank in the last year's list.

About Nooyi, Forbes said, "Nooyi continues to grow PepsiCo, the 39-billion-dollar food and beverage giant, through new product offerings and acquisitions...she orchestrated a major expansion into international markets, most notably with a 1.4-billion-dollar acquisition of a 75 per cent stake in Russian juice giant Lebedyansky."

While, there are only three Indians on the list and only one of them -- Biocon's Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw -- heads a corporate entity. The other two, Sonia Gandhi and Mayawati, are political leaders.

Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw, ranked at the 99th place in the Forbes Powerful Women list, founded Biocon in 1978 to make industrial enzymes with a small Irish company, Biocon Biochemicals.

"Now a top-20 global biotech company, Biocon makes drugs, including insulin and anti-cancer treatments, and its chairman is the dean of India's rapidly growing biotech industry," the magazine stated.

Besides, other leading business women on the list are Xerox Corp's chief Anne Mulcahy, Oracle's president and CFO Safra A Catz, and Hewlett-Packard executive Vice-president Ann Livemore.