Thursday, 13 November 2008

Tech's most powerful women

All those who think that technology industry's most powerful faces are all men, need to correct themselves.

The global IT industry may be largely led by men, but it has its share of fairer sex. Women, who by their grit, substance and vision have emerged among the most powerful people in the global business world.

Wall Street Journal recently released its annual `The 50 Women to Watch' list for 2008. The list has as many as seven women from the IT industry. Meet the shining stars of the tech world.

Anne Mulcahy, Chairman and CEO, Xerox Corp
Chairman and CEO of Xerox Corp, Anne M Mulcahy tops the list of the most powerful tech women. She became CEO of Xerox in August 2001, and chairman on January 1, 2002.

Mulcahy is credited of having pulled Xerox out of a near-fatal slump in 2002. Her ideas include colour printing, eco-friendly technologies and lucrative consulting services. To compete with rivals like Canon and Hewlett-Packard, Mulcahy doubled Xerox's software R&D budget to $1.5 billion.

She began her Xerox career as a field sales representative in 1976 and assumed increasingly responsible sales and senior management positions. From 1992-1995, Mulcahy was vice president for human resources, responsible for compensation, benefits, human resource strategy, labor relations, management development and employee training.

Mulcahy became chief staff officer in 1997 and corporate senior vice president in 1998. Prior to that, she served as vice president and staff officer for Customer Operations, covering South America and Central America, Europe, Asia and Africa.

Mulcahy earned a bachelor of arts degree in English/journalism from Marymount College in Tarrytown, NY. In addition to the Xerox board, she is a board director of Catalyst, Citigroup Inc, Fuji Xerox Company, Ltd, Target Corporation, The Washington Post Company, and is the chairman of the corporate governance task force of the Business Roundtable.

Susan Decker, President, Yahoo Inc
President of Yahoo Inc, Susan Decker is ranked at No 13 on the list. Decker had used the turmoil caused by Microsoft Corp's attempted acquisition of Yahoo to reorganise her company.

As the president of Yahoo Inc, Decker is a key participant in determining Yahoo's business strategy and vision. She is responsible for all of the global business operations of Yahoo, including sales, product marketing, product, and distribution across the three major customer groups of audience, advertisers and publishers.

Prior to that, from December 2006 -- June 2007, she served as the head of one Yahoo's two major business units, the Advertiser and Publisher Group (APG). Prior to her APG role, Decker was executive vice president and chief financial officer from June 2000 -- June 2007, managing all aspects of the company's financial and administrative direction within key functional areas, including finance, facilities, investor relations (and human resources and legal through December 2006).

Before Decker joined Yahoo in June 2000, she was with Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette (DLJ) for 14 years.

Before serving as DLJ's global and domestic head of research, she spent 12 years as an equity research analyst, providing coverage to institutional investors on more than 30 media, publishing, and advertising stocks.

Decker holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Tufts University, with a double major in computer science and economics, and a master of business administration degree from Harvard Business School.

Ursula Burns, President, Xerox Corp
Forty-nine year old President of Xerox Corporation, Ursula M Burns ranks at No 16 on the list. She is also a member of the Xerox Board of Directors, elected in April 2007.

Burns is responsible for the company's global research, development, engineering, marketing and manufacturing of Xerox technology, supplies and related services.

Burns joined Xerox in 1980 as a mechanical engineering summer intern. She since held several positions in engineering including product development and planning. In June 1991, she became the executive assistant to Paul A Allaire, then Xerox chairman and chief executive officer.

From 1992 to 2000, Burns led several business teams including the office colour and fax business, office network copying business, and the departmental business unit. In May 2000, she was named senior vice president, Corporate Strategic Services, and two years later assumed the role of president, Business Group Operations.

She serves on professional and community boards, including American Express Corp, Boston Scientific Corp and CASA - The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University.

Julie Larson-Green, Corporate VP, Windows Experience
The Wall Street Journal has put Julie Larson-Green, who is overseeing the user interface of Windows 7 (and demoed the operating system at PDC two weeks ago) on its.

Julie Larson-Green is the first-ever Microsoft executive to find a place in Wall Street Journal's annual 50 Women to Watch list. The WSJ profile describes her having one of the technology industry's biggest responsibilities right now: readying a new version of Microsoft Corp's ubiquitous operating system, called Windows 7.

As Microsoft's corporate vice president for Windows experience, 46-year-old Green oversees the teams designing the user interface for Windows 7 as well as the testing and research that goes into making sure the software is ready to ship. One big priority for Green is to minimise the steps in Windows 7, such as mouse clicks, that users have to take to do common activities.

Green joined Microsoft in 1993 and has focused on user interface design throughout her career. As a programme manager in Development Tools and Languages, she was instrumental in several releases of Microsoft Visual C++ for 32-bit operating systems and led the development of Microsoft's first customisable integrated development environment for Windows. Moving to the Windows team, she was responsible for the Internet Explorer 3.0 and 4.0 user experience, including features related to the Web-integrated Windows desktop.

In 1997, Green joined the Office team and led programme management for Microsoft Office SharePoint and Microsoft Office FrontPage. Most recently, she has been responsible for leading the user interface design for Microsoft Office XP, Office 2003 and the 2007 Office system.

Safra A Catz, President, Oracle Corp
Co-President of Oracle Corporation, Safra A Catz ranks No 19 on the list. An Oracle veteran, she served as an Executive Vice President from November 1999 to January 2004 and as Senior Vice President from April 1999 to October 1999.

Safra A Catz has served as a President since January 2004, as Chief Financial Officer since November 2005, and as a Director since October 2001.

The journal praises Catz for overseeing Oracle's numerous acquisitions -- the company's stock was recently trading near its five-year high.

An Israeli, Catz held a key role in $10.3 billion takeover of software rival PeopleSoft. Prior to Oracle, Catz was at Donaldson and Lufkin & Jenrette, global investment banks.

A bachelor's degree holder from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, she later pursued law from the University's Law School.

Sheryl Sandberg, COO, Facebook
Sheryl Sandberg joined Facebook as chief operating officer in March this year. Sandberg joined Facebook after six years at Google, where she served as vice president of global online sales and operations. At Google, she built and managed the company's online sales channels, which represent the majority of Google's customers worldwide, for both AdWords and AdSense.

Sandberg also managed global operations for Google’s consumer products. In addition, Sandberg was instrumental in launching, Google’s philanthropic arm. Prior to Google, Sandberg was Chief of Staff to the US Treasury Secretary under President Bill Clinton.

According to WSJ, "Under Sandberg's watch so far, Facebook has announced plans to open a new international headquarters in Ireland, and implemented a number of new management procedures, such as employee reviews."

Presently, on Sandberg's agenda is a new advertising model for the site that can lure dollars away from competitors like Google and Yahoo Inc.

Padmasree Warrior, CTO, Cisco Systems Inc
The only Indian techie in the list, Padmasree Warrior is Cisco Systems' Chief Technology Officer. Warrior is reportedly developing a technology system that will be accessible to all the company's engineers, managers and executives. She plans to use the system to communicate with Cisco employees, allowing her to cut through the bureaucracy to make decisions on strategy.

She came to Cisco from Motorola, where she was executive vice president and chief technology officer.

Fort-seven-year-old Warrior was named Motorola's CTO in 2003 and held numerous positions at the company over her 23-year career, including corporate vice president and general manager of Motorola's energy systems group and corporate vice president and chief technology officer for Motorola's Semiconductor Products Sector.

Warrior holds an MS degree in chemical engineering from Cornell University and a BS degree in chemical engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi, India.


kesha said...

Cisco chief technology officer Padmasree Warrior appears to be one of a few senior execs of a high tech company to provide frequent updates on the real time short messaging service, twitter.She keeps her twitter following updated on her personal and wickedly intellectual thoughts, for example last evening Padmasree tweeted.

Phaser Ink said...

I completely agree. The business world is definitely considered to be led by men, however women have an incredibly important role too.

Women such as Robelynn Abadie, have taken a stand in the business world and they dont look like they are going anywhere. Slowly, the role of business women as CEO's COOs and many more are beginning to be a lot more acceptable and trustworthy.

Wonderful post!
Im definitely passing this article's link to a few friends!