2014 rank: 43
2013 rank: 38
Adele Ambrose runs in some pretty A-list circles. She was a co-host of The Woman I’m Here For segment at the Women in the World Summit 2014 on a panel that included Meryl Streep, Diane von Fürstenberg, and Laura Bush.
Similarly, at the pharmaceutical company where she heads communications, investment in women’s issues is significant. In August, with the help of Marina Maher Communications, Merck partnered with Her Campus in a campaign called Pledge to Plan it Forward to help women consider the role of contraception and family planning for their future.
A 20-plus-year veteran at AT&T, Ambrose joined Merck in 2007 and spearheaded communications around its $41 billion merger with Schering-Plough in 2009.
Looking ahead, she faces her next significant deal as Merck plans to sell its consumer care business to Bayer for $14.2 billion. Bayer will come out of the deal with Claritin, the allergy medication, and Afrin, the decongestant.