Indra Nooyi leads Financial Times top 50 women in business

Pepsico’s CEO Indra Nooyi has topped the Financial Times’ ranking of the Top 50 Women in World Business for the second year running. One of the most celebrated corporate leaders in the world, Nooyi was followed by Andrea Jung of Avon Products, Güler Sabanci of Sabanci Group, and Irene Rosenfeld of Kraft Foods.

Hot on their heels in the Financial Times’ flagship analysis of female business leadership are Ursula Burns at Xerox, Ellen Kullman at DuPont and – one of the six Indian women in the list – Chanda Kochhar at ICICI.

China’s rise is reflected in the promotion of Dong Mingzhu of Gree Electric and Cheung Yan of Nine Dragons Paper, as well as the first time inclusion of one of China’s richest women, Wu Yajun of Longfor Properties.

Judges included Dame Marjorie Scardino of Pearson and Dame Clara Furse.

The ranking was unveiled last night at the exclusive FT 2010 Top 50 Women in World Business Ranking Dinner, where Cherie Blair spoke on behalf of the Cherie Blair Foundation for Women.

Earlier in the day, over 180 of the world’s most influential business women gathered for the inaugural Financial Times Women at the Top conference at the Mandarin Oriental. Christine Lagarde, France’s finance minister, gave the opening address. Gillian Tett, US managing editor of the Financial Times, chaired a strong panel including Birna Einársdottir, CEO of Íslandsbanki and Nancy McKinstry, CEO & Chairman, Wolters Kluwer.

Lionel Barber, editor of the Financial Times, said: “We are delighted to see so many of the world’s most successful business women gather at the 2010 FT Women at the Top conference. The FT champions the increased presence of women on the boards of companies, and continues to provide news and analysis about the achievements of high-performing women in the global corporate world.”

The data behind the ranking was supplied by Egon Zehnder International.

Separately, Zaha Hadid was honoured at last night’s dinner for her achievements as one of the world’s leading architects. Her name was selected by senior FT editors, in consultation with the Top 50 judging panel, as part of a parallel FT initiative to recognise one leading woman annually for excellence outside the corporate arena.

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The Financial Times Women at the Top ranking appears on 17 November in a special magazine supplement with the FT’s global editions. Further news, analysis, a blog, online discussions and video interviews with some of the Top 50 Women in World Business will be available at The initiative can be followed on Twitter: @ftwomenatthetop.

The top 50 was selected by an expert jury whose choice was based on information on the executives’ performance and durability, much of it supplied by Egon Zehnder International, the executive recruitment group. A range of factors was used to assess the candidates: biographical data; size, scope and complexity of the company (including turnover and number of employees, number of sectors and countries of operation); and competitive landscape. The judges ranked only executives managing a group’s controlling company.

For further information

Kristina Eriksson, Financial Times, +44 20 787304961 or

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