Women in business who become industry leaders are so successful because they know how to handle power.
Fortune Magazine measures this power in its annual list of "The 50 Most Powerful Women in Business." The results for 2011 have just been announced, and at the top of the list is Irene Rosenfeld, the chairman and CEO of Kraft Foods. Rosenfeld, who was listed second in 2010, finally edged out five-year winner Indra Nooyi, the head of PepsiCo.
Like many of the powerful women on Fortune’s list, Rosenfeld is highly educated. She received her Master of Business Administration (MBA) from Cornell and went on to achieve a doctorate degree in marketing and statistics.
Rosenfeld worked for Kraft for over twenty years before becoming CEO of Frito-Lay in 2004, but she returned to Kraft as CEO in 2006. Since then, she has demonstrated her business expertise by leading major company changes, including the acquisition of Cadbury in 2010.
Rosenfeld’s recent decision to split Kraft into two companies is probably the change that pushed her to the top of Fortune’s list. The split was a surprising move on Rosenfeld’s part because it makes her future position at Kraft unclear. Ultimately, Rosenfeld has shown her worth as shrewd CEO who does whatever it takes to help her business.