GSK's Connelly among most powerful

STAFF WRITERSeptember 10, 2009 

Joining GlaxoSmithKline boosted Deirdre Connelly's power ranking.

Connelly, who became head of GSK's North American pharmaceutical business in February, is No. 37 on Fortune Magazine's latest list of the 50 Most Powerful Women in business. Connelly, 49, defected to GSK after spending 25 years at rival Eli Lilly.

Connelly was No. 42 in last year's Fortune list.

She is the top ranking official at GSK's U.S. headquarters in Research Triangle Park and oversees key drugs such as the asthma treatment Advair. The British drug maker employs more than 5,000 in the Triangle but has been shedding jobs to cut costs amid slowing U.S. sales.

A few other Tar Heels made Fortune's latest list.

Sallie Krawcheck, who dropped off the list last year, returned at No. 30 after being named president of Bank of America's global wealth and investment management. Krawcheck, 44, is a UNC-Chapel Hill grad.

And Susan Ivey, CEO at Reynolds American in Winston-Salem, came in at No. 26. Ivey, 50, was No. 23 last year.

PepsiCo's Indra Nooyi is No. 1, followed by Irene Rosenfeld of Kraft Foods and Pat Woertz of Archer Daniels Midland. At No. 6 is media powerhouse Oprah Winfrey.

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