Source: www.Suntimes.com by Sandra Guy on 9/29/11
Kraft CEO Irene Rosenfeld tops Fortune magazine’s list of most powerful women in business, which noted her “big show of power” this year in deciding to split the Northfield-based food giant into two companies.
In making the decision, Rosenfeld reversed her previous strategy of expanding Kraft by gobbling up other companies, the magazine said.
Rosenfeld, who led a hostile takeover of Britain’s Cadbury in 2010, plans to stay in her CEO role until the split’s expected completion late next year.
Rosenfeld switched places on the list with PepsiCo CEO Indra Nooyi, who dropped one notch to No. 2.
The 14th annual ranking of powerful women looks at the size, health, direction and global importance of the business that a woman leads and the woman’s career path and social and cultural influence.
Ranking No. 3 is Patricia Woertz, CEO and president of agribusiness giant Archer-Daniels-Midland, based in Decatur, for her push into developing regions, including her plans to build a soybean plant in Paraguay and a biodiesel plant in Brazil.
Other Chicago area women on the list are:
* Oprah Winfrey, CEO and chairman of the Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN) TV channel and chairman of Harpo Studios, at No. 16, down from No. 6 last year, for moving in as CEO and chief creative officer of her cable network after its ratings disappointed. Fortune notes that Oprah has added 20 new advertisers for 2012, but it acknowledges that the powerful talk-show hostess’ influence has diminished.
* Jan Fields, president of McDonald’s USA, rose to No. 17 because in her first year overseeing the Oak Brook fast-food giant’s 14,000 U.S. restaurants in 2010, revenue jumped by 2 percent and operating income by 7 percent. Fields, who rose through the ranks after starting as a crew member 33 years ago, headed McDonald’s National Hiring Day in April in which the company hired 62,000 people. Fields ranked No. 25 in 2010.
* Ilene Gordon, CEO and president of Corn Products International, based in Westchester, ranked No. 42 — up 16 notches from last year — based on a near-doubling of the company’s stock price since Gordon took over in 2009 and its success in passing on rising corn costs to customers while forecasting more than $6 billion in revenue this year.
To view the full list, go to http://money.cnn.com/magazines/fortune/most-powerful-women/2011/