updated 11 Oct 2010, 09:48
    Powered by
user id password
Fri, Oct 08, 2010
EmailPrintDecrease text sizeIncrease text size
She's the world's most powerful woman

UNITED States First Lady Michelle Obama beat out heads of state, chief executives and celebrities to rank as the world's most powerful woman in Forbes magazine's annual listing on Wednesday.

Kraft Foods chief executive Irene Rosenfeld, who led a hostile US$18 billion (S$23.5 billion) takeover of Britain's Cadbury, came in second, followed by talk-show host and media mogul Oprah Winfrey, who is ending The Oprah Winfrey Show next year after 25 years to launch her cable network, OWN.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel, elected for a second term last year, was the fourth most-powerful woman, while US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who was put in charge of brokering Middle East peace, rounded out the top five.

Click here to find out more!
Ms Moira Forbes, vice-president and publisher of Forbes- Woman, said the women on the business magazine's list were "shaping many of the agenda- setting conversations of the day".

She said: "They have built companies and brands, sometimes by non-traditional means and they have broken through gender barriers in areas of commerce, politics, sports and media and cultural zeitgeist, and thereby affecting the lives of millions, sometimes billions of people."

This year, Forbes changed the way it ranked women, basing the list less on wealth and power and more on creative influence and entrepreneurship.

Last year's winner was Dr Merkel, followed by Ms Sheila Bair, chairman of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. Mrs Obama ranked No. 40.

Forbes said Mrs Obama topped the list this year because "she has made the office of first lady her own" while remaining popular.

"In a telling sign of her charisma, the White House is putting her on the campaign trail to headline fund-raising events in battleground states like California and Colorado," Forbes said.

"She's also effective. In response to her Let's Move! campaign against childhood obesity, companies like Coca-Cola, Kellogg and General Mills have pledged to reduce the calorie content of their foods by 2015," the magazine added.

PepsiCo chief executive Indra Nooyi, who was last week named the most powerful woman in US business for the fifth year in a row by Fortune, was in sixth place on the Forbes ranking, while singer Lady Gaga came in at No. 7.

Ms Gail Kelly, chief executive of Australia's Westpac Banking, was in eighth place, followed by singer Beyonce Knowles.

Talk-show host Ellen DeGeneres rounded out the top 10.

The complete Forbes list of the 100 most powerful women can be viewed at

readers' comments

Copyright © 2010 Singapore Press Holdings Ltd. Co. Regn. No. 198402868E. All rights reserved.