Xerox's Ursula Burns racked up two firsts this year: First African-American woman to head a Fortune 500 firm, and first woman CEO to replace another Fortune 500 female chief. What other notable women made the list?
A nosedive for the ethanol market has forced Patricia Woertz, CEO of Archer Daniels Midland, to get back to agri-basics.
Woertz, who cut her teeth at oil giant Chevron, helped turn ADM into the country's leading producer of the corn-based fuel. Now that ethanol demand has dried up, she is focusing on improving the quality and diversity of ADM's crops. Plans include an ADM collaboration with UC Davis aimed at cutting down on post-harvest crop waste and working with the World Economic Forum to increase environmentally sustainable farming practices.
Woertz says she wants to increase crop and processing volumes by year's end and has recently overseen plant openings at home and abroad -- including a new cocoa-processing plant in Ghana and a Clinton, Iowa factory that will produce Mirel, a cornstarch-based plastic.
NEXT: Angela F. Braly