Only three healthcare executives made it to this year’s 50 Most Powerful Women in Business list compiled by Fortune Magazine, one of whom is a first time entrant.
Of the three, the highest rank was claimed by Deirdre Connelly, president of North American Pharmaceuticals at GlaxoSmithKline, who came in at no. 26 on the list. She slipped a notch from last year.
The portfolio Connelly, 52, commands accounts for one-third of the pharma giant’s overall revenue although sales fell 5 percent nearly five percent to just over $11 billion in 2011. Connelly came to GSK from Eli Lilly where she was president of U.S. operations and had been with that Indianapolis pharmaceutical company since 1983 when she joined as a sales rep.
She holds a bachelor’s in economics and marketing from Lycoming College in Pennsylvania and completed Harvard University’s Advanced Management Program in 2000.
Next on Fortune’s list – at no. 28 – is a representative of the health insurance industry. Gail Boudreaux, CEO of UnitedHealthcare, the benefits business of UnitedHealth Group, climbed 2 rungs on the ladder since last year. Boudreaux, 52, runs the $95 billion annual health benefits business and her leadership, ever since she she took the job in early 2011, seems to have had a positive impact on the company’s overall stock price. UNH’s stock has jumped 34 percent, beating the sector’s performance of 27 percent, Fortune noted.
Boudreaux came to the insurance giant in May 2008 from Health Care Services Organization, where she was executive vice president. She has also worked at one of UnitedHealthcare’s chief rivals – Aetna. Currently, she is also EVP at UnitedHealth Group and co-chair of the company’s Innovation Council. It appears that her name is being mentioned in connection to the top spot at insurance company WellPoint whose CEO resigned under pressure in late August. She doesn’t appear to have a LinkedIn or Twitter account.
At no. 40 is new entrant, Karen Licitra, company group chairman, Global Medical Solutions at Johnson & Johnson. Licitra, 53, is the highest ranking woman at Johnson & Johnson and in 2011 her division accounted for $9 billion of the company’s $25 billion medical device unit revenue.
She started at J&J back in 1984 as a sales rep fro Ethicon and was named company group chairman in 2002. She holds a degree in marketing from Rider College. Like Connelly, Licitra also has a bare bones LinkedIn profile and no Twitter account.
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