SINGAPORE (November 7, 2023) – Forbes today unveiled its 2023 Asia’s Power Businesswomen list, honoring 20 successful female leaders across the Asia-Pacific region, who operate in a broad range of industries including finance and banking, property, technology and commodities. The complete list can be found here and in the November issue of Forbes Asia.
Rana Wehbe Watson, list editor, said: “The 20 outstanding women featured on this year’s Forbes Asia’s Power Businesswomen list are undeterred by new economic realities. From top executives at leading business and financial institutions—who are, in many cases, the first woman to take on these roles—to those driving their family businesses to new heights or starting their own, these trailblazers are truly unstoppable.”
All 20 women highlighted this year are newcomers, adding to Forbes Asia’s network of outstanding businesswomen in the Asia-Pacific region. They have been selected for their achievements and track records as business leaders.
Among those is Makiko Ono, the first female CEO of Suntory Beverage & Food, the listed arm of Suntory Holdings. Ono is also the first woman to head a Japanese company with a market cap of over ¥1 trillion yen ($7 billion).
An early founding member of Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group, Trudy Dai was recently appointed CEO of its Taobao and Tmall shopping sites after the company announced in March its decision to split into six smaller business units. Dai is focusing on promoting value-for-money products amid China’s economic downturn, which has helped Alibaba attract consumers and merchants alike despite fierce competition.
Also on the list is Lee Young-hee, president of global marketing office at Samsung Electronics, who is the first and only woman outside the founding family to hold the rank of president at the Samsung Group. Lee joined Samsung Electronics in 2007, and is credited with helping the company become the biggest seller of smartphones by shipments.
Carolyn Choo, CEO and managing director of Worldwide Hotels, joined her billionaire father Choo Chong Ngen’s budget hotels chain in 2002, and has led the group’s transformation as it expanded into the mid-tier segment and across Asia Pacific. The company owns 38 hotels in Singapore, and will add three new hotels by end 2023. Internationally, Worldwide Hotels owns a total of 11 hotels across Australia, Japan, Malaysia, South Korea and Thailand.
M.R. Jyothy took over as managing director of the Mumbai-based consumer goods company in April 2020, which was founded and named after her by her father, M.P. Ramachandran, now chairman emeritus. Jyothy Labs makes products such as detergents and dishwashing soaps at 23 plants across India and is a market leader in the fabric whitener segment, with more than 80% market share led by its flagship brand Ujala.
Anna Ma. Margarita B. Dy took the helm at Ayala Land in October, becoming the first female CEO of the Philippines’ second-largest property developer by market value. Her appointment comes as the company accelerates the launch of residential projects to meet surging housing demand. Dy joined the company 18 years ago and has been on the management committee since 2008. Prior to her role as CEO, she oversaw many of the firm’s luxury housing projects as chief operating officer and head of its residential business group.
Another trailblazer is Alice Chang, founder and CEO of Taipei-based beauty tech firm Perfect Corp. The company’s key product evolved from photo-editing software to AI and AR-powered services that allow online shoppers to virtually try on makeup, hair colors, jewelry and other products. Today, over 600 brands use Perfect’s technology, including some of the world’s largest beauty companies. In late 2022, the company went public on the Nasdaq market in the U.S.
Suphajee Suthumpun is group CEO of Thailand’s Dusit International. Since she took the helm in 2016, Dusit’s hotels and resorts have grown from 27 properties in eight countries to about 340 across 20 countries. She also established new lines of business including property development as well as food production and catering, and aims to list Dusit Foods by early 2025. She is also driving Dusit International’s 46-billion-baht ($1.3 billion) project to redevelop the prestigious Dusit Thani Bangkok hotel into a modern mixed-use development.
Meliza Musa Rusli was appointed Bank Permata’s president director in May 2022, becoming the first woman to head the lender that counts itself among Indonesia’s top ten by assets. Promoted from her previous role as vice president director, she is focused on growing the domestic and international customer base of the lender that was acquired by Thailand’s Bangkok Bank in a $2.3 billion deal in 2020.
In September, Michele Bullock made history when she became ninth governor of the Reserve Bank of Australia, the first woman to helm the central bank. Bullock joined the central bank as an analyst in 1985 and has held a number of roles, including assistant governor for the financial system.
Stephanie Hui, the head of private and growth equity in Asia Pacific at Goldman Sachs, is another woman to make this year’s list. A notable deal that Hui worked on, saw the firm take a 7% stake in ICBC in 2006 for $2.5 billion ahead of the Chinese bank’s IPO—which became one of Goldman’s most profitable investments. Under her leadership, the firm also led a $36 million investment in South Korea’s biggest food delivery app Woowa Brothers in 2014, and a $50 million series C round in 2021 in fellow listee Alice Chang’s Perfect Corp.
For the complete Forbes Asia’s Power Businesswomen list, please visit www.forbes.com/asiapowerbusinesswomen2023
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