Financial Times places Sabancı in 2nd top spot

Financial Times places Sabancı in 2nd top spot

ISTANBUL- Hürriyet Daily News
Financial Times places Sabancı in 2nd top spot

Güler Sabancı started her career at Lassa, Sabancı Group’s tire business, and grew to become the managing director of the conglomerate. ‘Uncertainty is the only certainty in life,’ she says. Company photo

Güler Sabancı, managing director of one of the largest Turkish conglomerates, ranked as the second strongest businesswoman in the world in the Financial Times’ list announced yesterday.

Chief executive of Sabancı Holding, Sabancı ranked as the second most successful in this year’s list of the “Top 50 Women in World Business,” published annually by the Financial Times. Seen as one of the biggest risk takers of the world on the business landscape, Sabancı has been also described as a leading figure in the country’s cultural as well as business life. “My friends call me a pacesetter. Sometimes I am impatient, but you must be fast and flexible in business because uncertainty is the only certainty in life.”

Sabancı is the third generation of the Sabancı family to run the company since it was founded by her grandfather Haci Ömer Sabancı in the early part of the 20th century, what started as a cotton and textile trading business, now spans financial services, tires, cement, energy and retail. Her career started at Lassa, the group’s tire business, upon graduating from Boğaziçi University’s business administration department. “I worked every level of the organization, but wherever I have been, I have worked as if that was the only opportunity I had,” she said in an interview with the Daily News.

The daily highlighted her deep involvement in philanthropy including Sabancı University, of which she is founding president, and Sakıp Sabancı Museum, where she is chairwoman. She is also the president of the board of the Hacı Ömer Sabancı Foundation, which has invested nearly $1.5 billion in social programs since 1974.

Irene Rosenfeld, the current chief executive and the chairwoman of Kraft Food, topped the list. Indra Nooyi, the current chairwoman and chief executive officer of PepsiCo ranked the third most successful woman in the list followed by Ursula Burns, chairwoman and chief executive of Xerox. Andrea Yung, chief executive of Avon Products, ranked fifth on the list.

The top 50 were selected by an expert jury whose choices were based on information on the executives’ performance and durability, much of it supplied by Egon Zehnder, an international recruitment group. A range of factors was used to assess the candidates, including biographical data, size, scope and complexity of the company, turnover and number of employees, number of sectors and countries of operation. The panel also took into account each company’s performance in the last three years to June 30 of this year.