15 of the Most Powerful Women in Tech
Below are 15 of the most powerful women in tech from around the world.
1. Sheryl Sandberg - COO, Facebook
In June 2012, Sheryl Sandberg became the first woman to serve on Facebook’s board of directors. That same year, she made Time’s 100 Most Influential People list. Prior to her work with Facebook, Sheryl was the chief of staff for the U.S. Secretary of the Treasury and was later employed at Google, serving as Vice President of Global Online Sales and Operations.
She is the author of the book Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead, which explores themes like feminism, sexism in the workplace, and the societal/personal barriers to gender equality in the professional world. It topped bestseller lists and sold more than one million copies.
Currently, reports estimate Sandberg’s net worth, which is largely in stock holdings, at over US $1 billion.
2. Susan Wojcicki - CEO of Youtube
Susan earned her bachelor’s degree in history and literature at Harvard University, graduating with honors in 1990. Originally, her plan was to pursue a PhD in economics and work in academia but changed course when she became interested in technology. In 1999, she joined Google as their first marketing manager and worked her way up to senior vice president of Advertising and Commerce.
After overseeing Google Video for some time, Susan proposed that the company acquire Youtube (which at the time was a small startup). In 2006, she handled the $1.65 billion purchase. The following year, she oversaw another large acquisition: the $3.1 billion purchase of DoubleClick.
She later handled two of Google’s largest acquisitions: the $1.65 billion purchase of YouTube in 2006 and the $3.1 billion purchase of DoubleClick in 2007. In February 2014, Susan was appointed CEO of YouTube.
Susan often speaks about the importance of balancing family and career life, and with five children of her own, has the experience to back up her words. Like Sheryl Sandberg, she also made Time Magazine’s 100 most influential people in 2015.
3. Ginni Rometty - CEO, IBM
Ginni heads IBM, serving in the capacities of Chairman, President, and CEO. She is the first woman to do so. Since 1991, she has held various important roles at the company and was appointed CEO and President in October of 2011.
For ten consecutive years, she has been featured in Fortune magazine's "50 Most Powerful Women in Business", taking the top spot on the list in 2012, 2013 and 2014. Forbes magazine named her one of the "World's 100 Most Powerful People" in 2014.
4. Meg Whitman - CEO, Hewlett-Packard
Meg Whitman has a long and varied career, serving as an executive for numerous high-profile companies. During the 1980s, she was vice president of strategic planning at The Walt Disney Company. In the 1990s, she worked for DreamWorks, Procter & Gamble, and Hasbro. Then, from 1998 to 2008, she served as president and chief executive officer of eBay.
Meg was named 20th in Forbes’ 2014 list of the 100 most powerful women in the world.
5. Marissa Mayer - CEO, Yahoo
Marissa has been the current president and CEO of Yahoo! since 2012. Prior to her employment with Yahoo!, she worked at Google as an executive and spokesperson for over a decade.
In 2013, Marissa was recognized on the Time 100 list; then, in 2014, Fortune magazine ranked her sixth on their 40 under 40 list and sixteenth on their list of most powerful businesswoman in the world.
6. Safra Catz - Co-CEO, Oracle
Safra has been with Oracle Corporation since April 1999. In October 2001, she joined the company’s Board of Directors and was named President of Oracle Corporation in early 2004. From November 2005 to September 2008, and from April 2011 to the present, she also served as the company’s CFO. In September of 2014, she became co-CEO, along with colleague Mark Hurd.
Other professional activities include her status as a member of the Executive Council of TechNet, Director of PeopleSoft Inc., and Director of Stellent, Inc.
7. Angela Ahrendts - SVP, Retail, Apple
Angela is new to the tech industry, but not new to leadership positions. She served as the CEO of Burberry from 2006 to 2014, before leaving to join Apple as the Senior Vice President of Retail and Online Stores. In 2014, she was Apple’s highest-paid executive, earning over $70 million.
Her distinctions include placing 25th on Forbes' 2015 list of the most powerful women in the world, 9th in the BBC Radio 4 Woman’s Hour 100 Power List, and 29th in Fortune’s 2014 list of the world's most powerful women in business.
Angela also sits on the UK Prime Minister's business advisory council.
8. Ursula Burns - Chair-CEO, Xerox
In July 2009, Burns became the first African-American woman CEO to head a Fortune 500 company. She had worked for Xerox since 1980, beginning as an intern and climbing through the ranks for the next three decades.
Other accomplishments include:
- President Obama appointed her vice chair of the President’s Export Council in 2010
- She is a board director at multiple professional and nonprofit entities
- Forbes rated her the 22nd most powerful woman in the world in 2014
9. Ruth Porat - CFO, Google
After working with Morgan Stanley for decades, serving as their Chief Financial Officer and Executive Vice President from January 2010 to May 2015, Ruth Porat became CFO of Google on May 26, 2015.
In 2013, Ruth was being considered for the nomination as the next Deputy Secretary of the Treasury but asked to be withdrawn from the running so she could continue her career at Morgan Stanley.
In 2011, Forbes named her #32 on their list of the world’s 100 most powerful women.
10. Renee James - President, Intel
Renee James has worked at Intel for over 25 years, serving in a variety of roles. She became President of Intel Corporation in May 2013; however, the Wall Street Journal recently reported that she will be stepping down to seek a CEO position elsewhere at the end of 2015.
Renee is one of Silicon Valley’s most prominent female executives and Intel’s highest-ranking woman ever. Forbes’ 2014 list of the most powerful women in business ranked her 21st, and the following year, she was 45th on the list of Most Powerful Women.
11. Amy Hood - Chief Financial Officer, Microsoft
Amy Hood currently serves as the first female Chief Financial Officer at Microsoft Corporation, a role she has held since May 2013. She has been with the company since 2002, before which time she worked with Goldman Sachs.
Hood holds a bachelor's degree in economics from Duke University and an MBA from Harvard University.
She was named #48 on the Forbes World's 100 Most Powerful Women list.
12. Mary Meeker - General Partner, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers
Mary Meeker is a partner at the Silicon Valley venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers. Her interests primarily lie in the direction of technology and Internet.
Before becoming a venture capitalist, Mary was a Wall Street securities analyst, working with Morgan Stanley.
In 1998, she became known as the "Queen of the Net" after a piece in Barron’s Magazine. Forbes listed her as the 77th most powerful woman in the world in 2014.
13. Padmasree Warrior - Former Chief Technology and Strategy Officer, Cisco Systems
Until recently, Padmasree Warrior was Chief Technology & Strategy Officer (CTO) of Cisco Systems. Before joining Cisco in 2007, she worked for 23 years at Motorola, Inc., serving as Corporate Vice President and CTO for many of them. In 2004, with Padmasree at the helm, President Bush awarded Motorola the 2004 National Medal of Technology.
Padmasree just started a new chapter in her professional life as CEO of electric vehicle company NextEV.
As of 2015, she is listed on Forbes as the 84th most powerful woman in the world (she was #71 in 2014 as well). Additionally, The Economic Times named her the 11th Most Influential Global Indian in 2005.
14. Weili Dai - Co Founder-President, Marvell Technology Group Ltd.
Chinese-born American businesswoman Weili Dai is president and co-founder of Marvell Technology Group. She is the sole female co-founder of a major semiconductor company and is considered one of the most successful female entrepreneurs worldwide, with an estimated net worth of over $1 billion.
Weili is currently listed as the 95th most powerful woman in the world by Forbes. She was also #21 on their list of America’s Self-Made Women this year.
15. Jenny Lee - Managing Partner, GGV Capital
Jenny Lee is the highest-ranked woman on the 2015 Midas List and has carved out a well-respected career as an investor in the Chinese tech scene. Before joining GGV in 2005 and helping to open its Shanghai office, she worked at JAFCO Asia.
Forbes lists Jenny as their #98 Power Women for 2015.
Technology still has a reputation for being a male-dominated field, but these women (and more like them) are proving that gender is no barrier to success.