Business

HP’s Meg Whitman tops list of female CEOs ranked by web presence

With all the reports of a dearth of women in business, it’s easy to forget that there are female chief executives running behemoths like Pepsi and HP.

A New York-based analytics startup, PeekYou, has compiled a list of the most influential female chief executives.

The executives on the list span a variety of industries, from enterprise technology to retail. Given the amount of media attention paid to technology companies of late, it’s no surprise that Silicon Valley-based CEOs dominate the list.

At the top of the list is HP CEO Meg Whitman. Tasked with retooling HP, Whitman has garnered a great deal of media interest, fending off competition from Marissa Mayer, who recently assumes the top job at Yahoo.

The list reminds me of a conversation that unfolded at Box‘s recent conference, Boxworks. A panel of female executives, including Epiphany’s former CEO Karen Richardson and Drugstore.com’s former CEO Dawn G. Lepore, made the salient point that women are often brought on in times of transition.

That’s certainly true in HP’s and Yahoo’s case: All eyes are on Mayer and Whitman. Can they re-energize flat-lining companies with a visionary corporate strategy?

No pressure.

Every executive on the list was given a PeekScore ranking between one and ten. As the company explains, the higher the score, the “more important” they are on the web. To calculate the ranking, the company takes into account known presence and activity on the Internet, including: blogging, participation in social networks, friends, followers, readers, the amount of content created, and prominence in the news. It’s not disimilar from a service like Klout, which analyze web streams to calculate a person’s social media influence.

“The sequence of the list seems pretty consistent with the notoriety and public awareness of each of these esteemed women,” Michael Hussey, PeekYou’s CEO, told me. “The list beyond those two (Whitman and Mayer) was rather a tight race but the scores certainly appear accurate.”

Note: with the servers hit during Hurricane Sandy, the site has not yet been restored to full functionality.

Attendees of VentureBeat’s upcoming CloudBeat conference, November 28-29, will meet senior execs from both HP and Pepsi, both companies mentioned in PeekYou’s list. Rafal Los, Senior Security Strategist at HP, and Frank Edwards, Director of IT Strategy, PepsiCo are among the list of speakers. Learn more about CloudBeat here.

Check out the list of top female tech CEOs below — let us know what you think!

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