America

Two Women Tapped To Lead Major Companies

Two Fortune 500 companies have selected women as their incoming chief executive officers. By New Year's Day, the ranks of female corporate leaders will reach a new record: USA Today notes there will be 18 women leading a Fortune 500 firm. Previously, only 16 women held such positions at the same time.

Heather Bresch i i

Heather Bresch

Dale Sparks/ASSOCIATED PRESS hide caption

itoggle caption Dale Sparks/ASSOCIATED PRESS
Heather Bresch

Heather Bresch

Dale Sparks/ASSOCIATED PRESS

Mylan Inc., one of the largest pharmaceutical companies in the world, today named Heather Bresch as its CEO effective January 1. Bresch, who is also the daughter of West Virginia senator Joe Manchin, is currently the company's president.

News of her promotion comes a day after IBM announced Virginia Rometty will become its next chief executive officer on the same day in January, succeeding Samuel J. Palmisano, who will remain chairman of the tech company's board of directors.

Virginia Rometty i i

Virginia Rometty

Dima Gavrysh/ASSOCIATED PRESS hide caption

itoggle caption Dima Gavrysh/ASSOCIATED PRESS
Virginia Rometty

Virginia Rometty

Dima Gavrysh/ASSOCIATED PRESS

Ginni, as she's known, started at IBM as a computer systems engineer in 1981 before rising to take charge of several company divisions, including the financial services wing and business services department. She's currently a senior vice president.

Rometty's appointment at IBM comes as the company's rival, Hewlett-Packard, recently named a woman to its top job. Meg Whitman, formerly of Ebay and the Republican gubernatorial nominee in California, is taking over at H-P's CEO.

Bresch and Rometty will become part of a very small group of women running big firms, such as Patricia Woertz of Archer Daniels Midland and Ursula Burns of Xerox. The AP has put together the very short list here.

Their advancement is generating some positive buzz. Washington Post blogger Jena McGregor praises Rometty's promotion is a "feat".

Comments

 

Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the NPR.org Community rules and terms of use, and will be moderated prior to posting. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.