Women certainly have an uphill battle when competing against men and other women in the workplace. They face sexism, bias—not to mention having to deal with lots of guys who have mother issues on a daily basis. However, despite the fact that media sometimes buries these amazing true-life stories, the truth of their accomplishments cannot be forgotten. These 10 women, for example, were not ones to play second fiddle to any male CEO. They single-handedly turned their companies around.
10. Marissa Mayer (Yahoo)
Who knew that so much of daring web search technology came from a female mind? Mayer had already been working for Google as an engineer, and even had developed some of the search site’s biggest features like Google Maps and Google Earth. However, Mayer was most remembered by her headlining move to join Yahoo as CEO, one of the youngest CEOs in history. Yahoo’s not doing much now, you say? She arguably saved the dying brand from bankruptcy, only to turn it around by buying Tumblr for 1.1 billion dollars and making Yahoo’s falling stock rise to double its value in just 14 months since taking the reigns as president. Marissa now employs over 12,000 people, and her company is making in excess of over four billion dollars in revenue and one billion in total net income.
9. Heather Bresch (Mylan)
Heather Bresch started at the bottom of of the ladder on her way to glory as the head of Mylan, landing her first job as a medical transcriber, as a result of a favor her father Sen. Joe Manchin called in from then-CEO Milan “Mike” Puskar. Through her intellect and smart business know-how, she rose to the top of the company owning nothing to no one. She even helped the company report phenomenal growth. Since 2012, when she became CEO, the company rose 25 percent and the company expanded in the way of geographic reach and innovative respiratory technology. Career lesson: humble beginnings and success aren’t mutually exclusive. Heather’s company now makes over 6 billion dollars in revenue, with just over 600 million dollars in net income. It is also imperative to mention that she employs over 22,000 people globally. Managing employees at that level takes a great leader with vision.
8. Laura Sen (BJ’s Wholesale Club)
Laura Sen was certainly a team player, considering that she served as CEO of BJ’s Wholesale Club in Ohio for 14 years, and as vice president, only to be passed over for a promotion and fired after the company restructured in 2002. However, things quickly shook up and the new chairman Herb Zarkin went back to Sen, desperate for her to return to the company. Within two years, she became president COO and CEO. At BJ’s Wholesale Club, she has achieved tremendously. She saw the company open more than 180 stores, and a total annual revenue of over 10 billion dollars.
7. Beth Mooney (KeyCorp)
Mooney was not only promoted to a top financial company in Cleveland, with considerable responsibility at $90 billion in assets, but she is also credited for bringing the company “out of the red.” After a huge recessionary tumble in 2008, the KeyCorp company finally returned to profitability in 2013 and repaid its $2.5 billion debt. Mooney is planning to create 40 new branches for the brand in the coming years, a sure sign of progress even after an extended period of bad news. That’s proof that a woman in business can never say never, and never give up—even when disaster looms. As of 2014, the company is doing over 4.4 billion dollars in revenue, thanks to Beth Mooney.
6. Denise Wilson (Desert Jet)
Denise Wilson of Desert Jet started as a pilot and traded careers to go into the business side of aviation. She started Desert Jet in 2007 in responses to how many airline companies were making poor decisions after the traumatic 9-11 attacks. Over the years, she was watched as her company revenue grew to over 3,751 percent. Equally impressive is the fact that she started the company with two other pilots and recruited eight more, taking 20 flights per week down to 2. Now a full service aviation company, Denise’s Desert Jet offers its customers a guide to acquiring, operating and even generating revenue by the use of private airplanes.
5. Denise Morrison (Campbell Soup)
Denise Morrison of Campbell Soup inherited a rotten situation, as Campbell was approaching an inevitable restructuring, including five digit lay-offs, as well as a termination of operations in Russia. However, Morrison’s restructuring plans were met with, well, warm and soupy enthusiasm from younger demographics who responded to new products, including healthier snacks, vegetable based energy shots, and other top sellers. Morrison also helped lead the company into expansion in Asia and Latin America. Revenue rose to $2.28 billion by early 2014, surpassing the prediction of 2.27 billion. Additionally, Morrison has also seen the company’s assets rise to a valuation of over 6 billion dollars, and now employs approximately 17,000 people globally.
4. Ursula M. Burns (Xerox)
Ursula Burns made history even after becoming the first African American to head a Fortune 500 company. As the CEO of Xerox since 2009, she took a lagging company and made it profitable and productive, overseeing an acquisition of Affiliated Computer Services for $6.4 billion. That decision went on to establish a path to profitability worth $500 billion by focusing on services as well as copy technology. Burns also oversaw expansion into the European market.
Under her watch, she has helped Xerox reach revenues of over 20 billion dollars, with a total net income of over a billion dollars and over 30 billion dollars in asset valuation. Additionally, this immense growth has seen Xerox employ over 146,000 people all over the world. Her Xerox story does not end there. Get this; she also fell in love at Xerox. Ursula married Lloyd Bean who also worked at Xerox.
3. Weili Dai (Marvell Technology)
Dai could well be called the first female tech leader, since she started in 1995, by co-founding Marvell Technology, a semiconductor company, and making history as the first woman to accomplish such a lofty achievement. She has since taken the company to the top of the industry, now bringing in 3 billion in yearly revenue, and having done so, for over three years. She is currently the President of the company, and co-founders with Sehat Sartudja and Pantas Sartudja. The company currently employs over 7,500 people globally, and has its headquarters in Santa Clara, CA.
Her hard work has also earned her some pretty respectable accolades. In 2012, she became the first female speaker at the UC Berkeley College of Engineering, keeping in mind that the college is over 140 years old. Additionally, she has also been featured on Forbes’ ‘The World’s 100 Most Powerful Women’, Newsweek’s ‘150 Women Who Shake the World’ and CNN’s ‘Leading Women Innovator Series.’
2. Indra Nooyi (PepsiCo)
Indra Nooyi is the chairperson and CEO of PepsiCo, and has turned her company around through plenty of brand and product changes. Under her control, the company recovered from disaster level losses and increased income to 20.1 billion in fourth quarter revenue, meeting the company’s goals. The company’s success prompted Nooyi to return more cash to shareholders and to announce greater goal achievement in 2014, despite what Nooyi called “macroeconomic conditions around the globe.” Nooyi’s efforts have also seen marketing the brand through acquisitions (Tropicana), mergers (Quaker Oats) and even the international in score, Wimm-Bill-Dann Foods.
In 2013, Indra was able to deliver a 6.6 billion dollar net income for PepsiCo. The company also had a total revenue of just over 66 billion dollars, total assets valued at 77 billion dollars, and a 24 billion dollar total equity. As such, this incredible woman has been able to give jobs to thousands of people. Try over 278,000 of them. Quite substantial, huh? We are not yet finished. Due to her formidable work, she receives round about 18 million dollars a year in salary.
1. Virginia M. Rometty (IBM)
In 2011, Virginia M. Rometty became CEO of IBM and immediately began re-envisioning the age old company as a technology company that focused on helping businesses streamline operation, rather than putting exclusive emphasis on hardware and software. Rometty landed on CEO.com’s list of the 25 most powerful women CEOs, but that’s beside the point that she helped the 105-year-old behemoth to make $104.5 billion dollars last year, which is still making more money than Google and Yahoo. Furthermore, the troubled company actually reported a $16.6 billion profit, with an asset valuation of over 126 billion dollars.