Last month, 21 women gained chief executive status globally, according to Boardex, which reports on chief executive appointments in companies.
While just one woman taking the top job is a gain, it represents just 9.5% of all chief executive appointments during July 2022.
This reflects the continued under-representation of women at the top, with women representing just 15% of chief executives employed at Fortune 500 companies, equalling 74 female chiefs, while globally, just 5% of chiefs are female, according to Altrata’s recently released Global Gender Diversity 2022 report.
In line with the message, ‘you can’t be what you can’t see’, Business Chief pays tribute to the 21 women who became chief executive officers in July 2022 – from Hong Kong to Israel, the US to The Netherlands, and across industries including tech, pharma, real estate and insurance.
We list by company market capitalisation.
1 Patricia H Nilsen
CEO, New York State Electric and Gas Corp
A veteran of New York State Electric and Gas Corp (NYSEG), with 20 years under her belt, Patricia Nilsen was recently promoted to President and CEO of NYSEG and RG&E (Rochester Gas and Electric Corporation). She is the first woman in the company’s nearly 175-year history to have this role.
Patricia will oversee and lead the NYSEG and RG&E teams who serve more than 1.2 million electric and 579,000 natural gas customers across more than 40% of Upstate New York. She is tasked with guiding the New York companies as they continue to invest in a more resilient, sustainable, and smart system. She brings to the role almost three decades of experience in the energy sector.
Beginning with NYSEG in HR, she moved to Corporate Communications and Customer Service serving in various high-profile leadership roles throughout her tenure. She most recently served as VP of Reliability Assistance and Emergence Preparedness for AVANGRID. She holds a master’s degree in English from Syracuse University.
2 Julie Schertell
CEO, Mativ Holdings Inc
She joins from billion-dollar company Neenah where she spent nearly 15 years, where she worked in increasingly senior leadership roles, most recently as President and CEO – a role she took on in 2020, bang in the middle of the pandemic. As chief, she helped grow the business through investment in innovation and astute acquisitions.
Starting in finance. Julie spent the first 16 years of her career at Georgia-Pacific LLC, a paper and pulp manufacturer, working in leadership roles across various functions, including sales, consumer products, supply chain operations and financial planning. She has a master’s in Finance from the University of Georgia.
3 Nataly Mishan-Zakai
CEO, Discount Investment Corp; Property and Building Corp, Israel
For the past eight years, Nataly Mishan-Zakai has served as Deputy CEO of Harel Insurance and Finance and as Chief Legal Adviser at one of Israel’s foremost insurance companies, Harel Group.
Prior to joining Harel, Nataly was a partner in the Fischer-Bachar-Chen law firm and headed the Capital Markets and Securities Department. She was commended for her skilled leadership of a legal team of 25 lawyers, handling the group’s highly regulated activity. She is a trained lawyer.
4 Wai Man (June) Wong
CEO, Value Partners Group
Described by Co-Chairman Seri Cheah Cheng Hye as a “highly respected and experienced executive”, June has more than three decades of experience and expertise in the finance, actuarial and asset management industries across Asia.
Most recently, she served as Asia ex-Japan CEO for State Street Global Advisors, and prior to that, was VC for APAC at Columbia Threadneedle. June has also held senior positions at AllianceBernstein and HSBC Asset Management. She currently serves on the Advisory Committee of the Securities and Futures Commission of Hong Kong and has a degree in Economics.
5 Rowena Smith
CEO, Australian Strategic Materials
Acting as COO for Australian Strategic Materials (ASM) since joining in 2021, Rowena Smith has now taken on the top job, having “demonstrated she is a highly capable leader, with extensive experience and an impressive track record in the mining sector”, says Ian Gandel, ASM Chair.
Rowena has almost 30 years of global mining experience across various senior roles including strategy, commercial, operations and ESG. Prior to joining ASM, she served as Chief Sustainability Officer and VP – Supply for South32, leading teams across Australia, South Africa, Mozambique, Columbia and the US. She has also held roles with Rio Tinto and BHP for Nickel West.
During her tenure at ASM as COO, she oversaw the construction and commissioning of ASM’s first high-purity metals plant in South Korea.
6 Julie Baron
CEO, Trean Insurance Group
Serving as Chief Operating Officer since 2021, Julie Baron took the helm of Trean Insurance Group last month. As COO, she was responsible for executing the insurer’s multiple growth opportunities and long-term strategic objectives.
Julie also served as Chief Financial Officer for six years, and has been with the insurer for 15 years. As CFO and COO, Baron proved her “strong understanding of all aspects of the insurance industry and her leadership abilities over many years with Trean,” said former chief Andrew O’Brien.
Prior to joining Trean, Julie was Controller for a mortgage broker. She has a B.S. in Accounting from Arizona State University.
7 Emma V Shand
CEO, EML Payments
She has more than 25 years of global experience in technology, capital markets and diversified financial services across 30 countries. Emma has worked with highly regulated markets, governments, and disruptive companies across a variety of sectors, and has a track record of initiating and overseeing complex structural, technology and transformational change to drive growth. She takes the helm of EML Payments with company insight having been a member of the EML Board of Directors since September 2021.
“She brings a deep appreciation of the exciting growth opportunities ahead for EML in a world rapidly transitioning to digital payments,” says Peter Martin, EML’s Chairman.
8 Laura Amoretti
Interim CEO, Lastminute.com NV
Described by Laurent Foata, board chairman, as a ‘very committed and dynamic leader with vision, energy and substantial relevant experience with our group”, Laura has been with the Amsterdam-based travel company for 12 years. She led the cruise business unit for nearly six years, and also served as CCO for three and a half years, driving the organisation towards optimum customer experience delivery.
Prior to Lastminute.com, Laura practised as a lawyer. She has worked in four countries, including France, Italy, Spain, and the UK, and can speak four languages fluently. She has an Executive MBA from ESADE.
9 Chen Zhu
CEO Bank of Communications Co.
A banking veteran, Chen Zhu joined the Bank of Communications (BOCOM) in 1993, and has held increasingly senior roles, including both Deputy GM and GM positions of the Taipei branch, and of the international banking department – the latter her most recent role which she served in for five years.
She has been the deputy Chairperson of the Banking Commission for the China Chamber of International Commerce since 2018 and has a degree in Finance from Fudan University.
10 Suzanne Winter
CEO, Accuray Inc.
Former Chief Commercial Officer of Accuray, Suzanne Winter brings more than 30 years of healthcare and med tech experience to her new role as CEO of the medical equipment manufacturer.
Prior to joining Accuray, she held various senior executive roles across a range of healthcare industry segments, including diagnostic imaging, cardiovascular, neurocritical care and surgery. Most recently, Suzanne served as Group VP of Medtronic Diabetes where she was responsible for US$1.4bn Americas region leading a 2,000-person commercial organisation.
Suzanne has also worked in senior roles across sales, marketing and business development for Alsius Corporation, Toshiba America Medical Systems and HP Medical Products Group. She has a BSC specialising in Chemistry and an MBA from Harvard.
11 Charng Yee Heng
CEO, Globetronics Technology Berhad
Serving as Chief Operating Officer of Globetronics Technology Berhad for the last nine years, Charng Yee Heng has stepped into the CEO role at the Malaysia-headquartered electronic and semiconductor manufacturing company.
She joined Globetronics in 2013 as Business Unit Manager where she oversaw operating and planning activities and established the Quality system, procedures and control. Charng has held various senior roles here, including as VP of Business and Operations before making COO in 2021. Prior to Globetronics, she held managerial roles at security services firms, Tyco International and ADT Security Services. She has a degree in Engineering.
12 Rosie Mercer
CEO, Marsden Maritime Holdings
Rosie Mercer joins Marsden Maritime Holdings as CEO following nine years with Ports of Auckland, where she most recently served as General Manager Sustainability. Taking up this new executive role, Rosie has relocated to Northland and will play a part in transforming the economy of the northernmost region of New Zealand’s 16 regions.
Rosie has many years of experience in management, leadership, and civil engineering roles in New Zealand and internationally. She also served in the NZ Army in Afghanistan in 2009 and 2010 as an engineer officer. She holds a BE(Hons) in civil engineering and is a member of the Institute of Directors.
13 Dikla Czaczkes Akselbrad
Formerly serving as Polypid’s Chief Financial Officer, Dikla Czaczkes Akselbrad has been appointed CEO for the late-stage biopharma firm focused on improving surgical outcomes. Dikla joined Polypid in 2014 as Chief Strategy Officer becoming CFO in 2017 and leading the company’s IPO on the Nasdaq in 2020.
Described by Polypid’s board of directors as having a “strong industry background” along with “expertise in driving growth and innovation”, Dikla has more than 20 years of experience in leading life sciences companies through critical international strategic, financial and business transitions, including raising more than US4350m in various forms in her prior two CFO roles, at Nasdaq-listed Compugen and at Packet Technologies. She has a degree in Economics and an MBA in Finance from Tel Aviv University.
14 Dr Maky Zanganeh
Co-CEO, Summit Therapeutics
Serving as Chief Operating Officer since 2020, Dr Maky Zanganeh has been appointed Co-CEO as part of Summit Therapeutics’ plan to assemble a “world-class leadership team” to guide the group into the “next chapter of our growth”, says Robert Duggan, CEO.
Prior to joining the drug discovery and development company, Maky founded Maky Zanganeh and Associates in 2015, and before that held multiple leadership roles at Pharmacyclics, Inc., including as COO. In this role, she oversaw all clinical development, regulatory, research, and commercial functions in addition to all business-related matters. She played a key role in the sale of Pharmacyclics to AbbVie Inc. for US$21bn in 2015.
Maky is currently a board member of Pulse Biosciences, Inc., and has a Dental Degree of Surgery from the University of Strasbourg and an MBA from Schiller International University in France. She earned the Top Women in Biotech 2013 award and was a finalist for the EY Entrepreneur of the Year award in 2013.
15 Miranda J Toledano
CEO, Entera Bio
Miranda has more than two decades of experience in C-level leadership, principal investment and capital market experience in the biotech sector. Prior to joining Entera, Miranda served as COO, CFO and Director of TRIGR Therapeutics, where she oversaw the clinical development of lead asset TR009 and led strategic execution, including a US$117m China License Transaction and acquisition by CMPX. Before this, she was Head of Healthcare Investment Banking at MLV & Co, where she completed biotech equity financings totalling over US$4bn in aggregate value.
Miranda is a member of the board of directors of Nasdaq-listed Journey Medical and Lipomedix. She has a degree in Economics from Tufts University and an MBA in Finance from NYU Stern.
16 Faith Mukutu
CEO, Zambeef Products
Prior to Zambeef, Faith was Finance Director of three listed entities – Zambian Breweries Plc, National Breweries Plc. and Zambia Sugar Plc. An accounting and finance professional, she has more than 20 years of finance experience, mainly in leadership roles at national and multi-national organisations. Faith is a fellow of ZICA.
“The Board is confident that Faith’s combination of financial aptitude, operational skill, strategic flair and capital markets experience is fundamental to delivering the strategic imperatives the Company has embarked on,” says Michael Mundashi SC., Chairman of the Board.
17 Dr Marla Cindy Dubinsky
CEO, Trellus Health Plc
Dr Marla Dubinsky has taken the helm of Trellus Health, having co-founded two years ago the tech-enabled connected health solution for chronic conditions. She is also co-founder of Mi-Test Health, and Cornerstones Health, the latter a non-profit organisation dedicated to enhancing and transforming communications between healthcare providers, patients, and industry partners.
A professor of Pediatrics and Medicine at Icahn School of Medicine Mount Sinai New York, Dr Dubinsky received her medical degree from Queen’s University, Canada, and her research fellowship in IBD at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in LA. She has also served as Chief of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition at the Mount Sinai Kravis Children’s Hospital and Co-Director of the Susan and Leonard Feinstein IBD Clinical Center.
18 Corinne Le Goff
CEO, Celsion Corp
Biopharmaceutical leader Corinne Le Goff has been appointed as President and CEO of clinical-stage biotech firm Celsion Corp. She brings decades of global healthcare leadership experience to the company across firm across various therapeutic areas including oncology, vaccines, immunology, CNS and cardio-metabolism, and vast experience in developing and launching successful drugs from her tenure at both large pharma firms and small biotech companies.
Corinne joins Celsion from Moderna where she most recently served as Chief Commercial Officer and was responsible for developing the global presence and capabilities necessary to ensure the global distribution of Moderna’s Covid-19 vaccine. She also led the development of the mRNA platform long-term commercial strategy.
Prior to Moderna, she worked at Amgen for six years, most recently as President of the US Business, driving growth strategy; and before that, she held various senior international roles at Roche, including President of Roche France. Earlier in her career, she held various leadership roles at Sanofi and Pfizer in the US. She earned a PhD in pharmaceutical sciences from Rene Descartes University in Paris and an MBA from Sorbonne University and INSEAD.
19 Shasha Mi
CEO, Baosheng Media Group Holdings
With more than a decade of leadership experience under her belt, Shasha Mi has been appointed CEO of Baosheng Media Group.
Shasha joins from the Group’s subsidiary company Beijing Baosheng Network Technology Co., where she served as CEO since 2017, and where she was responsible for managing daily operations, designing business strategies for Baosheng Network and overseeing the execution of business strategies.
Prior to Baosheng, she served as VP at Jiangsu Wansheng Weiye Network Technology Co., an online advertising company; and before that, as sales director at Beijing Qihoo Technology Co. She has a degree in accounting from Beijing Union University and is currently pursuing her MBA from Tsinghua University.
20 Lene Johansen
CEO, Skandia Greenpower
Lene Johansen joins Skandia Greenpower as CEO from Norwegian online retailer Brandsdal Group, where she most recently served as Chief Commercial Director. This comes as Skandia Greenpower fast-tracks its planned transformation from a traditional electricity retailer to a purebred and more scalable tech company with a fully digital business model which operates under the Elkompis brand.
An experienced leader with 15 years in senior roles in the E-commerce industry, Lene has a proven track record of building fast-growing and profitable online retail brands and platforms, making her “the perfect experience and competence mix to grow the disruptive and fully digital Elkompis offering”, says Erik Tonnesen, Chairman of Skandia Greenpower’s board of directors.
As CCO at Brandsdal Group, Lene had a major role in establishing the group’s brand presence in other countries, including Germany and the Netherlands, and during her tenure, the group and its brands experienced significant growth almost doubling revenues. Prior to this, she was head of social media for the group.
21 Serena Teo Joo Ling
CEO, Ascott Residence Trust
Following her appointment as Deputy CEO of Ascott Residence Trust in November last year, Serena Teo Joo Ling was promoted to CEO at on 1 July. Prior to Ascott Residence Trust, Serena spent five years at Ascendas, where she worked in various leadership roles, including as Head of Group Strategy Management for Ascendas Land and most recently leading Portfolio Management of Ascendas Real Estate Investment Trust.
Serena started her career in 1996 at Chartered Semiconductor Co as an engineer. Serena has a degree in electrical and electronic engineering from the National University of Singapore and an MBA from INSEAD.
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