Advertising maven Ogilvy has promoted Amritsar-born Devika Bulchandani from its Global President and CEO of North America to the Global President and CEO. Bulchandani, however, is not the only woman with Indian roots to become a CEO in the US. Prior to her, women business leaders like Leena Nair, Jayshree Ullal and Anjali Sud have already achieved this feat.
Here’s a look at the women CEOs leading American corporate world
Devika Bulchandani (Ogilvy)
Bulchandani will take over reins from Andy Main, who will serve as the senior adviser till 2022-end after quitting as Global CEO. In her new role, she will be responsible for Ogilvy’s businesses spanning advertising, experience, health, public relations and consulting units spread across 131 offices in 93 countries.
Also known as “Dev”, she spent her childhood in Amritsar before going to Dehradun’s Welham Girls’ School. She also pursued a degree in English and Psychology from Mumbai’s St Xavier’s College, prior to pursuing a master’s degree in communications from University of South California.
Leena Nair (Chanel)
Her appointment as the CEO of the French luxury fashion group Chanel was particularly special as she was the first female and youngest-ever Chief Human Resources Officer (CHRO) to be elevated to the position of a CEO. During her stint as Unilever’s CHRO, Nair was focusing on employees’ wellbeing over anything else.
She made headlines for giving Unilever employees a day off as a gesture of thanks for their services during the harrowing COVID-19 pandemic in 2020. Nair’s India connect is a long one as she is an alumnus of XLRI Jamshedpur and also worked with the FMCG bellwether Hindustan Unilever for 30 years.
Aruna Jayanthi (Capgemini)
She was appointed as the Managing Director of Capgemini’s Latin America and Canada Business Units in January 2021. She has also served as Capgemini’s India CEO between 2011 to 2015 and managed operations of business units covering consulting, technology and outsourcing services. Aruna has a Master’s degree in Management Studies in Finance from Mumbai’s Narsee Monjee Institute of Management Studies.
Jayshree Ullal (Arista)
Leading Arista as its President and CEO since 2008, Ullal is responsible for its leadership in cloud networking. She is also credited for leading the company through a successful IPO in June 2014. Ullal was born in London and brought up in India. She is an alumnus of Santa Clara University and San Francisco State University.
Anjali Sud (Vimeo)
Daughter of Indian immigrants, she has been the CEO of Vimeo since 2017. Sud worked as a General Manager and Head of Marketing at Vimeo prior to becoming the CEO. She also held various positions in e-commerce, finance and media at Amazon and Time Warner. Anjali holds a BSc from The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and an MBA from Harvard Business School.
Revathi Advaithi (Flex)
Advaithi has been the CEO of Flex since February 2019 and is responsible for the company's strategic direction and transformation. She is also responsible for driving technology-based innovation, supply chain and sustainable manufacturing solutions across industries and end markets. Talking about her India connection, Advaithi has a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from the Birla Institute of Technology and Science in Pilani (BITS-Pilani).
Amrapali Gan (Only Fans)
Born in Mumbai, she was appointed as the CEO of the content creators’ site Only Fans in December 2021. She succeeded founder Tim Stokely to become the CEO. Gan joined Only Fans in September 2020 as chief marketing and communications officer.
Priya Lakhani OBE (CENTURY Tech)
Priya Lakhani OBE is the founder CEO of artificial intelligence-based edtech company CENTURY Tech. CENTURY Tech works towards developing AI-powered learning tools for schools, colleges, universities and employers globally. Lakhani also co-founded Institute for Ethical AI in Education, aimed at enabling learners to benefit from AI in education in ethical ways.
Padmasree Warrior (Fable)
An IIT-Delhi alumnus, Warrior founded a curated reading platform focused on mental health and wellbeing– Fable– in 2019. According to her LinkedIn Profile, she is the founder, president and CEO of the platform. Prior to this, she was on the Board of Directors of Microsoft and Spotify. She has also previously worked with tech giants Cisco and Motorola as their Chief Technology Officer (CTO).
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