This post wraps up our three-series posts about Women Leading Tech, showcasing the major financial, management, and technological contributions they have made to a mostly male-dominated industry. 729 Solutions wants to see this industry become even more diverse so we can be better at moving technology forward.
Ginni Rometty – CEO, IBM
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After attending Northwestern University and earning a degree in computer science and electrical engineering, Rometty joined General Motors working in application and systems development. In 1981 she was hired by IBM as a systems analyst and systems engineer. Once with IBM, she began to work her way up through different management positions working in many different areas including healthcare, banking, and telecommunications. During the 1990’s she joined the sales side of the company and became a part of their consulting group in 1991.
Throughout the early 2000’s Rometty held many management positions with IBM including, senior vice president of Global Business Services at IBM, senior vice president of Enterprise Business Services-IBM Global Services, general manager of IBM Global Services, Americas, as well as general manager of IBM’s Global Insurance and Financial Services Sector. In 2012 she became IBM’s first-ever female CEO and has successfully continued to serve in this position since then. She also serves on many boards including IBM organizations such as its Women in Technology Council, Women’s Executive Council, and Women’s Leadership Council, APQC, the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, the Latin America Conservation Council and has received awards for her management including the KPMG Inspire Greatness Award.
Jenny Lee – Managing Partner, GGV Capital
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She pursued engineering at Cornell University and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts and Science and a Master of Science in 1995. When she returned to Singapore she joined Singapore Technologies Aerospace as a jet engineer. After time spent with ST Aerospace, she returned to school, and in 2001 she received a Master of Business Administration from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern and it was while working towards this degree that she realized her interests lay outside of engineering.
When she returned to Singapore this time, she was hired by Morgan Stanley and in 2002 she joined Japanese venture-capital firm, JAFCO Asia. She then joined GGV Capital in 2005 as a managing partner and helped to set up and establish a GGV presence in China. She has overseen firm investments in startups including Alibaba, Didi Chuxing, Xiaomi, Toutiao and Southeast Asia-based Grab. She was ranked as 74th on The Midas List: Top Tech Investors 2018 by Forbes and was listed 94th on Forbes Power Women of 2017.
Ruth Porat – CFO, Alphabet Inc
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She attended Stanford University, the London School of Economics, and the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania before beginning a career with Morgan Stanley in 1987. She served as Vice Chairman of Investment Banking, Global Head of the Financial Institutions Group, and as co-head of Technology Investment Banking. During the financial crisis she consulted with the United States Department of the Treasury and in 2013 was on Barack Obama’s shortlist for Deputy Secretary of the Treasury. In 2015, Porat joined Google as their new CFO and in her capacity as Chief Financial Officer of Alphabet Inc. and Google oversees finance, business operations, people ops (HR), real estate, and workplace Services.
She is sought out for her superior knowledge of finance and gives lots of energy to different financial institutions, serving as vice-chair of the Board of Trustees of Stanford University, as a member of the Board of Directors of Stanford Management Company, the Borrowing Advisory Committee of the United States Treasury, the Board of Directors of The Council on Foreign Relations, the Board of Trustees of the Economic Club of New York, and the Bretton Woods Committee. She is also a member of the Advisory Council of the Hutchins Center on Fiscal and Monetary Policy at the Brookings Institution. In 2018 she was named “Best Internet CFO” by Institutional Investor and in 2017 was named the 25th most powerful woman in the world by Forbes.
Lucy Peng – Co-Founder & CEO, Alibaba
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She attended Zhejiang Gongshang University and earned a degree in business administration. Following her graduation in 1994, she began teaching at the Zhejiang University of Finance and Economics. In 1999 Peng quit teaching and with her husband founded Alibaba. At the beginning of Alibaba, she created and managed the HR department. She also developed the model that Alibaba would use to manage their teams, the “mom and pop” model worked in that there was one “mom” focusing on teamwork and motivation, and one “pop” who handled performance and assessments. In 2010 she became the CEO of Alipay. Under her management, Alipay became the most successful payment portal within China.
In 2013, Peng took over as CEO of Alibaba Small and Micro Financial Services and in 2014, she founded Ant Financial Services in order to support small businesses, and while under her direction they broke the record for the world’s largest private fundraising for an internet company. Peng also worked for 10 years as Alibaba’s chief people officer overseeing approximately 35,000 employees. In 2017 she was announced as the 34th most powerful woman in the world by Forbes, in 2015 she was listed as the third richest woman in the tech sector by Wealth-X, and the 11th Most Powerful Woman in Asia by Fortune.