The headlines in October 2020 sounded anachronistic and they were. “Finally a Dax boss,” was the headline in the media when Jennifer Morgan took office at the software company SAP. Half a year later everything was the same in the world of the 30 largest listed companies in Germany. This time the headlines read: “First Dax boss gone again.” Morgan had to leave the SAP dual leadership in the wake of the Corona crisis.
Few female CEOs
The rest of the world doesn’t look much better. Only 14 of the 500 largest corporations worldwide are run by women bosses. The glass ceiling is currently at 40th place. Above that, there is no female CEO to be found in the Fortune Global 500.
But maybe that will change. Many of the bosses on this list are relatively new to office. They seem to be successful too. In the 2019 financial year, six of the ten companies with the highest turnover in the ranking recorded a loss. Of the ten largest corporations with a female CEO, only three had to report a drop in sales.
These are the ten largest companies in the world with a female boss.
@imago images / UPI Photo
# 10 Oracle
Safra Catz has headed Oracle since 2014. At that time, she and Mark Hurd took over the business of company founder Larry Ellison as dual heads. Hurd died in October 2019. The banker Catz has been one of the executives of the US software and hardware manufacturer since 1999. Oracle was most recently ranked 314th in the Fortune Global 500 with sales of almost 40 billion dollars.
@imago images / MediaPunch
# 9 GlaxoSmithKline
GlaxoSmithKline is the ninth largest company in the world by revenue, led by a female CEO. Emma Walmsley took over the position at the UK pharmaceutical company in 2017. She had previously worked at L’Oréal for 17 years. GlaxoSmithKline was the 282nd largest corporation in the world with sales of $ 43 billion.
@imago images / IP3press
# 8 Accenture
Accenture has been run by a woman since 2019. Julie Sweet previously led the US operations at the Dublin-based corporate and strategy consultancy. She succeeded Pierre Nanterme. He had resigned due to illness. Accenture was ranked 279th in the Fortune Global 500 with sales of $ 43 billion in fiscal year 2019. The lawyer Sweet has 492,000 employees. That’s by far the largest female CEO workforce on this list.
@imago images / ZUMA Press
# 7 Best Buy
The CEO position at US retailer Best Buy also switched from a man to a woman in 2019. Corie Barry was able to increase sales in the online business by almost 20 percent in her first year at the top, according to “Fortune”. Best Buy ranked 275th on the list of top-selling companies with $ 44 billion.
@imago images / Jürgen Schwarz
# 6 Thyssenkrupp
The DAX almost temporarily had two female CEOs. The trained mechanical engineer Martina Merz took over the post of CEO of Thyssenkrupp AG on October 1, 2019. Just a week earlier, the industrial group had been relegated from the DAX. The former steel giant from Essen came in the Fortune Global 500 with 47 billion dollars in sales (minus seven percent) in 248th place.
@imago images / IP3press
# 5 Engie
At Engie there are female bosses in series. In February it became known: The board of directors of the French energy company will not extend the contract with CEO Isabelle Kocher (photo). The in-house top manager Claire Waysand temporarily took over the post. The new CEO Catherine Macgregor will take office in January 2021. The utility came in the current Fortune Global 500 with 67 billion dollars in sales in 159th place.
@imago images / ZUMA Press
# 4 UPS
Carol Tomé is new to the Club of Influential Women CEOs. She replaced David Abney as CEO of UPS in March 2020. The former Chief Financial Officer of Home Depot is only the twelfth CEO in the 113-year history of the logistics company. UPS was # 129 out of the 500 largest companies in the world with $ 74 billion in sales. With almost 378,000 employees, Tomé has the second largest workforce in this top 10 after Accenture.
@ Flickr.com / Aviva plc
# 3 Aviva
Amanda Blanc is very new. In July 2020 she succeeded Maurice Tulloch at the insurance company Aviva. The London-based company was able to almost quadruple its sales in the 2019 financial year (plus 278 percent to almost 90 billion dollars (88th place).
# 2 Anthem
The US insurance group Anthem has been led by Gail Koziara Boudreaux since November 2017. She had previously headed UnitedHealth Group as CEO. Anthem ranked 68th in the Fortune Global 500 with sales of $ 104 billion, up 13 percent.
@imago images / ZUMA Wire
# 1 General Motors
General Motors is the world’s top-selling group with a female CEO. Mary Barra became the first woman to head a US automaker in January 2014. She succeeded Dan Akerson and was previously Executive Vice President at General Motors, where responsibilities included global product development. Three months after her appointment, Time magazine voted Barra one of the 100 Most Influential People in the World. In the first year of Barra’s aegis, General Motors was ranked 21st on the Fortune Global 500. In 2017, what was once the world’s largest company moved up to 18th place. Since then it has been steadily downhill. In the ranking published in 2020, the traditional carmaker only came in 40th place with a drop in sales of seven percent and $ 137 billion.
The US has the edge when it comes to female CEOs. This also applies to the other four companies with a female boss in the Global 500. Three are also from the United States (General Dynamics, Progressive, and Northrop Grumman). The last company with a boss is Gree Electric Appliances from China.