Asian power women
The world is filled with Asian entrepreneurs who have built careers on their own, be it in business, science or technology. We have heard of the Buffets, Gateses and Yahoo’s Jerry Yang. But how many names like Jung, Wong-Staal and Nooyi, come tripping off our tongues?
While some of these women may be without fanfare, they certainly are not without power.
Here, according to Goldensea, who keeps track of such things, here are a few worth noting.
During the past decade Andrea Jung has revitalized the once-moribund Avon name into a brand that's ringing the bells of a new generation of women around the world. In September 2002 Jung became the company's first female chairman of the board, putting her atop an international direct-sales empire with 45,000 employees, 3.9 million independent reps and $6.2 billion in annual sales. For the past decade she has been recognized as one of the most influential women in American business
The smartest thing Jung did as a young executive at Bloomingdales in the 1980s was putting herself under the wing of the company's first female vice president. With her mentor's guidance and support Jung climbed quickly up executive ranks. When her mentor was tapped to become I. Magnin's first female CEO, Jung left with her. Within five years Jung herself was lured away to become Neiman Marcus's executive vice president of fashion.
But marketing to an older, affluent clientele, she soon discovered, didn't demand her best creative energies. In May of 1993 she began doing some consulting work for Avon and was impressed by the high concentration of women in its senior management. The following January she accepted Avon's offer to come aboard as president of its product marketing group. The savvy and energy she brought was recognized, and in 1996 she was promoted to president of global marketing. She became CEO in 1999.
Born in Toronto, Canada in 1958, her father was an MIT architecture professor, her mother a chemical engineer who later became a concert pianist. Andrea graduated magna cum laude from Princeton in 1979 with a degree in English literature and is fluent in Mandarin, speaks conversational Cantonese as well as passable French. S
You might think of baby bottoms when you think of Johnson & Johnson. Christine Poon, worldwide chairperson of Johnson and Johnson Pharmaceutiicals Group, is out to change that. Since November of 2000 she has been leading J&J's drive to grow its global pharmaceuticals group to the level of giants like Merck, Pfizer, GlaxoSmithKline and Novartis. In the past several years J&J has aggressively acquired five pharmaceutical companies and now gets about 47% of its $40 billion annual sales from Tylenol, Motrin and a long list of less famous medicines.
Today the pharmaceuticals group is the largest and fastest-growing part of the J&J empire. By comparison, its more famous consumer products division accounts for only 9% and its medical devices group for 36%.
Poon was recruited because during 15 years at Bristol-Myers-Squibb she had proven to be a demanding leader who got results without alienating underlings. She headed up BMS's international medicine division from 1998 to 2000 and its medical equipment division in 1997-98. In 2003 her power and impact at J&J made her 27th on Fortune's list of the 50 most powerful women in American business.
Poon grew up in Cincinnati. She assumed she would become a doctor like her father and determinedly overcame an admitted lack of aptitude for math and the sciences to graduate a year early from Northwestern University with a degree in biology. She worked briefly as a lab technician at USC before returning for a masters in biology and biochemistry from St. Louis University.
Indra Nooyi's climb to the top ranks of an American cultural icon to become president and CFO of PepsiCo, producers of Pepsi-Cola, is all the more remarkable in that she didn't even come to the U.S. until the age of 23. Her impact on Pepsi's fortunes made her Fortune's 4th most powerful woman in American business for 2002 (8th in 2003). Since joining Pepsi in 1994 she led its 1998 acquisition of Tropicana frozen orange juice business and helped work out its spinoff of Taco Bell, KFC and Pizza Hut as Tricon Global Restaurants in 1997. In August 2001 PepsiCo acquired Quaker Oats. It is now a $25 billion company with 142,000 employees around the world. It is the world's second largest beverage company after Coca-Cola and fourth largest food and beverage company.
Nooyi honed her corporate finance expertise during four years as vice-president of corporate strategy and planning at Asea, Brown, Boveri, a company that sells power-generation and automation equipment. She filled the same postion at Motorola between 1986 and 1990. She acquired experience with international corporate strategy projects with the Boston Consulting Group after graduating from Yale School of management.
She obtained an MBA from Calcutta's Indian Institute of Management. She is the mother of two children. She and her husband live in Fairfield County, Connecticut. She has spoken about the difficulties of being a foreign-born woman in the corporate world and is known to wear a saree to corporate functions.
Sun Yafang is Chairman of Huawei, a position she has held since 1999. Ger leadership has transformed Huawei from a small local enterprise to a global giant providing innovative technologies and tailored solutions and services to leading telecommunication operators worldwide. She is credited as being the key contributor to the establishment and development of Huawei’s marketing and sales division and human resources leadership development.
Sun has spearheaded management reforms that have helped to turn Huawei into a multi-national corporation that is seen as a leading vendor in the telecommunication industry.
As Chairman, Sun represents Huawei in the business community, and communicates Huawei’s overseas development and corporate commitments to government officials and State dignitaries around the globe. She is also actively involved in a variety of corporate responsibility programs as well as philanthropic activities.
She has said: “As women, we can learn how to appreciate ourselves for what we do in this industry. I really deeply appreciate ITU for paying great attention to women and girls in ICT. Women and girls in ICT are simple words, but I do believe that in the next 20 to 30 years great changes will be made.
“In China, we women believe we should have jobs and education. My mum’s generation, mine, and the next generation — all of us women think that we should have jobs.
I believe that, by choosing this topic of women and girls in ICT, ITU has set in train great changes that will come to fruition in the future.”