Hogan Lovells

Hogan Lovells

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Predicting the Next Class of Female CEOs

Although only 35 of the nation’s Fortune 1000 companies are managed by women, at least one female CEO believes that number will double by 2017. Others echo the confidence of Maggie Wilderotter, head of Frontier Communications Corp., pointing to an increasingly strong pipeline of highly qualified female senior executives across all industries.

But who are the odds-on favorites to take over the corner office? Using the results of an informal poll, the Wall Street Journal this week released a top 10 list, selecting current managers who have the best shot at CEO in the next five years.

WSJ was quick to note that some of the more popular picks – including Sheryl Sandberg and Sherilyn McCoy – did not make the cut for varying reasons, including company size or decisions to head for greener pastures.

The list reflects a shift in traditional gender roles that our own Randy Segal detailed a few weeks ago – many had husbands who abandoned the fast track to support their wives’ careers.

Here is the rather impressive lineup:

• Charlene Begley, General Electric Co.
• Gail Boudreaux, United Health Group
• Rosalind Brewer, Wal-Mart Stores Inc.
• Juliana Chugg, General Mills Inc.
• Virginia "Gina" Drosos, Procter & Gamble Co.
• Jan Fields, McDonald's Corp.
• Michelle Gass, Starbucks Corp.
• Melanie Healey, Procter & Gamble Co.
• Marissa Mayer, Google Inc.
• Anne Sweeney, Walt Disney Co.

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