Ho Ching 5th on Forbes’ most powerful women list

August 20, 2009
Singapore Democrats

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Kathy Shwiff
The Wall Street Journal

German Chancellor Angela Merkel held on to the No. 1 spot on Forbes’ annual ranking of the world’s most powerful women for the fourth year in a row.

The German leader was followed by Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. Chairman Sheila Bair, who has been part of the team handling the U.S. financial crisis, at No. 2. Chief executives of top companies filled the rest of the top 10.

Forbes noted that the women on its most powerful list are “moving across companies and industries, making big leaps with each change, and repositioning themselves for opportunities that allow them to gain a breadth of experience.”

Indra Nooyi of PepsiCo Inc. and Cynthia Carroll of Anglo American PLC were ranked Nos. 3 and 4, followed by Singapore’s first lady Ho Ching, chief executive of the country’s sovereign wealth fund Temasek Holdings, at No. 5.

Other notables include Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, at No. 36; talk-show host Oprah Winfrey, at No. 41; philanthropist Melinda Gates, at No. 34; Queen Elizabeth II, at No. 42; and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, at No. 35.

First Lady Michelle Obama joined the list at No. 40. Other newcomers are Secretary of Health & Human Services Kathleen Sebelius, at No. 56); recently sworn-in Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor, at No. 54); Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano, at No. 51; and SEC Chairman Mary Schapiro, at No. 55.

Sallie Krawcheck, who a year after being forced out of Citigroup Inc. is back on Wall Street as chief executive for global wealth management at Bank of America Corp., ranked No. 87.