International Women’s Day: Leaders in C-Suite Positions
While each March 8 celebrates International Women’s Day – a commemoration and observance of women’s vital role in American history – there remains a disparity in the number of women holding CEO and CFO positions in the Fortune 500s. According to NBC News, 41 women will hold C-suite positions at Fortune 500s by the end of the first quarter – only 8.2% of the total. Here is a look at some of the women currently leading America’s largest corporations.
Carol B. Tomé, CEO of United Parcel Service, Inc. (Tii:UPS)
Previously the CFO of The Home Depot, Inc. (Tii:HD), Tomé assumed UPS’s CEO position in October 2020. At the time of her appointment, she was lauded as one of the most respected and talented leaders in Corporate America with a proven track record of driving growth at a global organization, maximizing shareholder value, developing talent and successfully executing against strategic priorities. At Home Depot, Tomé’s responsibilities included corporate strategy, finance and business development. She is credited with helping deliver a 450% increase in The Home Depot’s shareholder value.
Linda Rendle, CEO of The Clorox Company (Tii:CLX)
Linda Rendle took the CEO reins in September 2020, a time when the pandemic created a series of challenges to virtually every business. She has more than 20 years’ experience with the consumer products manufacturer, previously overseeing business development as executive vice president of cleaning, international, strategy, and operations segment. Under her watch, Clorox reported sales growth of 27% for its second quarter of fiscal 2021, ended December 31, 2020.
Tracey Travis, CFO of The Estée Lauder Companies Inc. (Tii:EL)
As Executive Vice President of Finance and Chief Financial Officer since 2012, Travis oversees the cosmetics company’s Global Finance, Accounting, Investor Relations, Information Technology, and Strategy and New Business Development divisions. An industry veteran, she previously served as the CFO and senior vice president of Ralph Lauren Corporation (Tii:RL) for seven years and held senior positions at PepsiCo/Pepsi Bottling Group and L Brands, Inc. (Tii:LB). Shares of Estée Lauder are up nearly 50% for the trailing 12 months ended March 4, 2021.
Sonya Syngal, CEO of The Gap, Inc. (Tii:GPS)
Named Gap CEO in March 2020, Syngal served nearly four years as CEO of the retailer’s Old Navy business. Under her leadership at Old Navy, sales grew from $7 billion to $8 billion as the retailer expanded to more than 1,200 stores in the US, Canada and Mexico. As Gap’s CEO, Syngal’s top priority will be strengthening the performance of the Gap portfolio. Since her accepting the CEO position, the company’s shares have climbed some 100%.
Amrita Ahuja, CFO of Square, Inc. (Tii:SQ)
Joining the company in January 2019, Ahuja oversees all financial matters for the mobile payments and merchant services provider. Ahuja was recruited to help Square invest, build, and scale. To that end, the company recently signed a definitive agreement to acquire a majority ownership stake in TIDAL, a global music and entertainment platform, for $297 million in cash and stock. Ahuja previously served as CFO of Blizzard Entertainment, where she spent eight years at the division of Activision Blizzard (Tii:ATVI) in positions that included SVP of Investor Relations, VP of Finance and Operations, and VP of Strategy and Business Development. She also held various roles at Fox Networks Group, Walt Disney Company (Tii:DIS), and Morgan Stanley (Tii:MS).
While the number of women in C-suite positions is still relatively low, these women have been able to make their mark in the business sectors to bring a wealth of opportunities to their respective companies. Hopefully, by celebrating their accomplishments, more companies will begin to diversify their upper-level positions to include more women at the table.