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2. Gail Kelly
2. Gail Kelly
Managing director and CEO
2008 rank: 2
Country: Australia

In December of 2008 Kelly, 52, orchestrated a merger with St. George Bank, making Westpac Australia's largest bank with a market cap of $59 billion.

In a year where many banks reported losses or faced nationalization, Westpac saw revenues up 12% to $9 billion, and profits jumped 12% to $3.05 billion. In addition, Westpac kept its AA rating through the financial crisis, one of only eight banks in the world with that rating.

Kelly, who began her career as a teller in a bank in South Africa, is today the only woman CEO at a top 20 Australian Stock Exchange-listed company and serves on the board of the Melbourne Business School.

NEXT: 3. Marjorie Scardino
Last updated September 11 2009: 10:31 AM ET
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