UHC, Best Buy Execs Among “Most Powerful Women”

Fortune magazine named Gail Boudreaux of UnitedHealth Group and Shari Ballard of Best Buy two of America's leading businesswomen.

Two Minnesota executives were recently named to Fortune magazine's 2010 “50 Most Powerful Women in Business” list.

The list-featured in the October 18 issue-includes women working in many different industries from across the United States.

Here's a look at the two Minnesota women who made the list-along with their rankings, and a short synopsis about why they're significant:

34. Gail Boudreaux-president of UnitedHealthcare; executive vice president of UnitedHealth Group: Revenue in her business dropped 2 percent to $40.8 billion in 2009 as people lost jobs and health insurance benefits. Still, her division serves more than half of the Fortune 100 companies and almost 25 million individuals. Boudreaux, 50, ranked 38 on last year's list.

48. Shari Ballard-president of the Americas division, Best Buy Company, Inc.: She began her career at Best Buy as an assistant store manager in Flint, Michigan. Since then, she's worked her way up the ranks and earlier this year took over joint responsibility of Best Buy's Americas division-including call centers and BestBuy.com. Ballard, 44, is the seventh-youngest woman on the 2010 list.

The top five people on Fortune's 2010 list were: Indra Nooyi, chair and CEO of PepsiCo; Irene Roseneld, chair and CEO of Kraft Foods; Patricia Woertz, chair, president, and CEO of Archer Daniels Midland; Angela Braly, chair, president, and CEO of WellPoint; and Andrea Jung, chair and CEO of Avon Products.

Both Minnetonka-based UnitedHealth Group and Richfield-based Best Buy are among Minnesota's three-largest public companies based on revenue. UnitedHealth Group's revenue totaled $87.14 billion last year, and Best Buy's revenue for the fiscal year ending in February totaled $49.7 billion.