Top 7 Most Powerful Women in 2010

She used to be First Lady of the most powerful nation in the world, and she is now Secretary of State. These two positions would easily send her to the top position of the Top 7 Most Powerful Women in the World in 2010, but accordingly to Forbes, this year the top spot belongs to someone else. Check here who are the Top 7 Most Powerful Women in 2010:

1. Michelle Obama

Age: 47

Title: First Lady

Residence: Washington, DC

Country of citizenship: United States

Education: JD, Harvard University; LLM, Harvard University; BA/BS, Princeton University

Marital Status: Married

Children: 2

She has made the office of First Lady her own. A forceful advocate of school nutrition standards and military families’ affairs, she’s more involved in policy than Laura Bush was. But unlike Hillary Clinton, who championed a secretive (and ultimately unsuccessful) health care reform, Obama has stayed away from hard policy. A fashion icon and an athletic mother of two, she’s Jackie Kennedy with a law degree from Harvard and street sense from Chicago’s South Side. She’s also effective: In response to her Let’s Move! campaign against childhood obesity, companies like Coca-Cola, Kellogg and General Mills have pledged to reduce the calorie content of their foods by 2012. The first lady remains popular: 54% of Americans view her favorably.

2. Irene Rosenfeld

Age: 57

Title: Chief Executive, Kraft Foods

Residence: Kenilworth, IL

Country of citizenship: United StatesEducation: BA/BS, Cornell University; PHD, Cornell University; MS, Cornell University

Marital Status: Married

Children: 2

Her $26.3 million compensation package in 2009 made Rosenfeld the nation’s second-highest-paid female, after Yahoo!’s Carol Bartz. She earned it, drawing fire early this year after announcing plans to acquire British candymaker Cadbury. Warren Buffett, whose Berkshire Hathaway owned 9.4% of Kraft, voted against the deal, calling it “dumb.” When Rosenfeld refused to back down, Buffett retaliated by selling 33.1 million Kraft shares (one-third of Berkshire’s stake). Who was right? Kraft’s second-quarter revenues rose 25.3% to $12.3 billion, boosted largely by Cadbury’s business in Europe and in developing markets. “Obviously I’m very pleased with the outcome,” she says. On the home front, Kraft is spending more on ads to push core brands–Philadelphia Cream Cheese, Kraft Singles, Oreos and Mac & Cheese (her favorite).

3. Oprah Winfrey

Age: 57

Title: Media Personality

Organization: The Oprah Winfrey Show

Source: television, self-made

Residence: Chicago, IL

Country of citizenship: United States

Education: BA/BS, Tennessee State University

Marital Status: Single

World’s most successful female media exec (Top 7 Celebrities in 2010) has earned $1.35 billion over the last five years–as well as an enormous following. Her Oprah Winfrey Show–which will soon air its last episode after 25 years–boasts 40 million viewers a week. But with a Sirius radio channel (35 million listeners per month), a popular Twitter feed (nearly 4.5 million followers) and a new network launching January 2011 (called OWN), the media mogul will still have a large platform. Not afraid to use it: helped Barack Obama win 2008 presidency.

4. Angela Merkel

Age: 56

Title: Chancellor

Organization: Germany

Residence: Berlin, Germany

Country of citizenship: Germany

Marital Status: Married

Most powerful woman on the planet. Chancellor of Germany oversees Europe’s largest economy. Renowned free-market champion and favorite of big business, boasts nine public companies with annual sales in excess of $70 billion. In all, there are 57 German companies on the Forbes Global 2000 ranking of the world’s largest public companies, with aggregate sales of $1.7 trillion.

5. Hillary Clinton

Age: 63

Title: Secretary of State

Organization: United States of America

Residence: Washington, DC

Country of citizenship: United States

Education: BA/BS, Wellesley College; LLM, Yale University

Marital Status: Married

Children: 1

Former first lady and U.S. senator has been careful not to let her international celebrity outshine that of her boss. Two now said to have excellent working relationship, so good that inside-the-beltway gossips whisper her name as a possible replacement for hapless U.S. Vice President Joe Biden in 2012. Despite fashion “sense” that leans towards pantsuits, blinding colors, now America’s most popular politician, with favorability rating nine percentage points higher than Obama’s.

6. Indra Nooyi

Age: 55

Title: Chief Executive, PepsiCo

Residence: Purchase, NY

Country of citizenship: United States

Education: MBA, Yale University

Marital Status: Married

Children: 2

This year Nooyi nudged a $20 million slice of the company’s $616-million-a-year ad budget away from traditional to social media spends. A worldwide campaign, Pepsi Refresh, lets you submit grant proposals to a website, then encourages online voters to choose the winners (amounts: $5,000 to $250,000). “It blurs the line between philanthropy and advertising,” says Nooyi, whose total annual compensation package last year was $10.6 million. Refresh also allocates $1.3 million each month for a U.S. project, such as the recent “Do Good For the Gulf,” which offers stipends to build a shelter for animals whose owners lost their homes to the oil spill and to provide mental health services and job training. “Brands have to speak to millenniums; young people want to make a difference,” she says.

7. Lady Gaga

Age: 24

Title: Singer and performance artist

Residence: New York, NY

Country of citizenship: United States

Education: Dropout, New York University

Marital Status: Single

All hail the new queen of pop. Part singer and part performance artist, Lady Gaga (née Stefani Germanotta) has single-handedly reinvigorated pop music and pop culture. Her songs are like brain candy (sticky and addictive), her performances and fashion style are a spectacle. Her first album, The Fame, debuted in 2008, scoring four No. 1 hits with Just Dance, Love Game, Paparazzi and Poker Face. Her latest, The Fame Monster, has now put her on par with Beyoncé, Rihanna, and Mariah Carey for the most No. 1 Billboard hits (six) by a female artist. Her The Monster Ball world tour is poised to gross $200 million by the time it ends in May 2011. But it’s not all pop and glamour for Gaga. She is vocal supporter of gay rights and the repeal of “don’t ask, don’t tell.”She also made out Top 7 Celebrities in 2010 list.

Source: Forbes
  • Age: 24
  • Title: Singer and performance artist
  • Residence: New York, NY
  • Country of citizenship: United States
  • Education: Dropout, New York University
  • Marital Status: Single


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