Women CEOs, Ultimately, are CEOs: the Silly Focus on Marissa Mayer’s Pregnancy at Yahoo

While there’s no shortage of ink and pixels being spilled over the fact that Yahoo’s (YHOO) new CEO Marissa Mayer is the first pregnant head of a Fortune 500 company, the only Mayer delivery that should matter to investors is improved performance for Yahoo’s stock.

YHOO Chart

YHOO data by YCharts

And all the chatter aside, based on revenue, Mayer is way down the list of female CEOs. There are currently 19 female CEO’s running Fortune 500 companies -- yep, a paltry 3.8% -- and Mayer’s Yahoo is the second to last on that list, and #483 in the overall rankings. And though hints to Mayer’s approach at Yahoo are starting to emerge, it’s early to suggest whether she can turn the company around or not.

Meg Whitman, CEO of Hewlett Packard (HPQ) is the highest ranking female CEO on the Fortune 500 list at #10. Whitman, who stepped into the CEO office last September handily beats Mayer as chief of Silicon Valley’s biggest basket case.

YHOO Chart

YHOO data by YCharts

Joining Whitman in the ranks of women running the 100 largest U.S. corporations are:

19. Virginia Rometty: IBM (IBM)

28. Patricia Woertz: Archer Daniels Midland (ADM)

41. Indra Nooyi: PepsiCo (PEP)

45. Angela Braly: Wellpoint (WLP)

40. Irene Rosenfeld : Kraft (KFT)

72. Ellen Kullman: DuPont (DD)

IBM Chart

IBM data by YCharts

Wellpoint and Archer-Daniels Midland aren’t thrilling Wall Street lately. WellPoint’s early July announcement that it would pay nearly $5 billion to scoop up managed care provider Amerigroup triggered the recent sell-off. Longer-term, Braly’s tenure hasn’t delivered robust returns either.

WLP Chart

WLP data by YCharts

Things have played out similarly at Archer-Daniels Midland, where the stock price has trailed the S&P 500 since Woertz took over in the spring of 2006.

ADM Chart

ADM data by YCharts

Given that Rometty just took over this past January at IBM, it’s too early to measure her impact on the company’s bottom line. Let’s just say Yahoo’s Mayer would surely love to be inheriting IBM’s trend lines:

IBM Revenue Per Share TTM Chart

IBM Revenue Per Share TTM data by YCharts

Kraft has outperformed the broad market since Rosenfeld took over in mid 2006. The next challenge is how the market responds to the planned 2012 split of the company into two public companies: one focusing on snack brands—which Rosenfeld will continue to run-and the other covering the food giant’s North American grocery business.

KFT Chart

KFT data by YCharts

During Nooyi’s tenure as PepsiCo’s chief (she took over in the fall of 2006) the stock has managed to best the S&P 500, but seriously lags Coca-Cola (KO).

PEP Chart

PEP data by YCharts

The strongest stock gains among the female CEOs in the Fortune 100 goes to DuPont. Kellman formally took over the CEO slot in January 2009.

DD Chart

DD data by YCharts

That’s a delivery worth talking about.

Carla Fried is an editor for the YCharts Pro Investor Service which includes professional stock charts, stock ratings and portfolio strategies.



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