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Fortune 500 Women CEOs

From health care, to agriculture, to food and beverages, these women show what it takes to face the challenge of leading a Fortune 500 company.

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Angela Braly
Title: President and CEO
Company: WellPoint
Company rank: 33
Age: 46
Compensation: $9.1 million

To outsiders, Angela Braly was a relative unknown when she took over WellPoint, the country's largest health insurer, last June. Internally, though, she is credited with orchestrating the $6.5 billion acquisition of WellChoice, also known as Empire Blue Cross Blue Shield, in 2005.

The Texan's first year as CEO of the $60 billion behemoth put her directly in the public eye and has been far from easy: Within two weeks after taking the helm, Michael Moore's Sicko was released, criticizing America's health care system and singling out the company's practice of denying coverage to patients. Braly also found herself searching for a new CFO after he was ousted for violating the company's personal code of conduct amid allegations of philandering.

While no one can agree on the best way to fix an ailing healthcare system, there's no disputing that Braly - the only woman CEO of a Fortune 50 company - has one of the toughest jobs in business.
NEXT: Patricia Woertz
Last updated April 24 2008: 10:52 AM ET
Compensation figures include salary, bonus, deferred compensation, non-equity incentive plan, pension and exercised options, according to most recent data available. Figures are for 2007, unless otherwise noted.