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15 Women CEOs

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The number of women CEOs leading the Fortune 500 companies has increased to 15 this year from 12 in 2008, while Pepsico's India-born CEO Indra Nooyi continues to be on the list. Beverage and snacks major Pepsico chief's Nooyi, who was also there on last year's list, has helped in growing the company's top line with revenue rising by 10 per cent in 2008 to $ 43.3 billion and raised its profile in goodwill engendering arenas.

"While Pepsi was forced to cut 3,500 jobs and close six plants last year, Nooyi has announced big expansions abroad: $500 million in India, $1 billion in China, and $3 billion in Mexico," the magazine added.

Courtesy Fortune

The new list for 2009 includes three newcomers -- Yahoo's new CEO Carol Bartz, Ellen Kullman, who moved up to CEO post at DuPont in January and Laura Sen of BJ's Wholesale club. About Yahoo's Bartz, the magazine said she is known for her candour and since being named as CEO of Yahoo in January, "she's wasted no time telling it like it is".

"Bartz is focused on getting Yahoo in order: determined to look beyond search, she's stressed growth in content and information, she's open to partnering with social networking sites, and restructured the company to streamline its hierarchy and strengthen its global presence," it added.

Courtesy Fortune

Another newcomer is Laura Sen who has been CEO of warehouse club chain BJ's only since February, but she has actually been running the company since January 2008, when she became president and chief operating officer.

Courtesy Fortune

Further, DuPont's Ellen Kullman moved up to CEO post on January 1, 2009, becoming the first female CEO in the company's more than 200-year history. Kullman, who was already running four of DuPont's five main businesses, is more than prepared to meet the industry's challenges, Fortune said.

Courtesy Fortune

The Fortune magazine in a separate section on Women CEOs in Fortune 500 companies stated that, "from health care, to food, to retail, to technology, these 15 women show what it takes to lead some of the nation's biggest companies."

Other women CEOs among the Fortune 500 list include -- WellPoint's Angela Braly, Kraft Foods' Irene Rosenfeld, Archer Daniels Midland's Patricia Woertz, retailer TJX's Carol Meyrowitz and Money transfer giant Western nion's Christina Gold among others. (PTI)