America’s Most Successful Women Entrepreneurs
Forbes has expanded our annual ranking of the nation’s wealthiest self-made women to 100, up from 80 last year. The pandemic has been kind to some, including an executive of work-from-home staple Zoom Video Communications, but less rosy for others.
As female entrepreneurs and execs increasingly take center stage, Forbes is expanding our annual ranking of the nation’s wealthiest self-made women to 100, up from 80
last year. The pandemic has been kind to some, including Zoom Video
Communications’ finance chief, Kelly Steckelberg, who debuts on the list as shares of the work-fromhome staple have quintupled since
the start of the year. Others, such as cosmetics whiz Anastasia Soare
and the cofounders of skin-care firm Rodan + Fields, have been less fortunate, as the quarantine has
hurt beauty brands.
1. DIANE HENDRICKS $8 billion
SOURCE: Roofing AGE: 73 • RESIDENCE: Afton, WI SELF-MADE SCORE: The roofing mogul tops the list for the third year running, thanks to her Beloit, Wisconsin–based ABC Supply, which sold $11.7 billion worth of roofing and building materials last year. Outside of ABC, her construction company is building a ballpark for an Oakland Athletics minorleague affiliate, the Beloit Snappers, while a nonprofit she chairs is creating a new charter school slated to open in 2021.
2. JUDY FAULKNER $5.5 billion
SOURCE: Health IT AGE: 77 • RESIDENCE: Madison, WI SELF-MADE SCORE: The governor of Wisconsin called on her medical-records software company, Epic, this spring for help coordinating pandemicrelated communication and services for the Badger State’s 6 million residents. The company has also been donating its telehealth and remote-monitoring software. Faulkner, who intends to give 99% of her fortune to a charitable foundation within a decade, started the $3.2 billion (2019 sales) company in a basement in 1979.
3. MEG WHITMAN $5 billion
SOURCE: eBay AGE: 64 • RESIDENCE: Los Angeles SELF-MADE SCORE: The former eBay CEO is wealthier than ever after a 46% jump in eBay shares since the beginning of 2020. Quibi, the mobile entertainment platform she leads, debuted in April. Despite winning two Emmy awards, it reportedly lost some 90% of early subscribers when free trials expired.
4. JUDY LOVE $4.7 billion
SOURCE: Retail & gas stations AGE: 83 • RESIDENCE: Oklahoma City, OK SELF-MADE SCORE: She and her husband, Tom, founded Love’s Travel Stops & Country Stores in 1964, when they leased an abandoned gas station in Watonga, Oklahoma, for $5,000. Love’s opened 20 new locations in the first eight months of 2020, including its largest ever, in Madison, Georgia. The company, for which Judy serves as executive secretary, has some 520 Love’s Travel Stops across 41 states, with estimated revenues of more than $20 billion.
5. MARIAN ILITCH
$4.1 billion SOURCE: Little Caesars AGE: 87 • RESIDENCE: Bingham Farms, MI SELF-MADE SCORE: Mrs. I, as she is known, cofounded pizza megachain Little Caesars with her late husband, Mike, in 1959. The company did an estimated $4.4 billion in global sales in 2019, and 2020 could be even bigger. Shares of competitor Domino’s have jumped 35% since the beginning of the year as homebound customers have driven up demand for pizza delivery.
6. LYNDA RESNICK
$3.6 billion SOURCE: Agriculture AGE: 77 RESIDENCE: Beverly Hills, CA SELF-MADE SCORE: With her husband, Stewart, she runs agricultural giant Wonderful Co., which had $4.7 billion in 2019 revenue from growing pistachios, almonds, pomegranates and mandarin oranges on 135,000 acres of orchards in Texas, Mexico and California’s Central Valley. In September 2019, the couple pledged $750 million to Caltech for climate-change research, the largest gift in the university’s history.
7. JOHNELLE HUNT
$3.5 billion SOURCE: Trucking AGE: 88 • RESIDENCE: Fayetteville, AR SELF-MADE SCORE: Hunt pledged $5 million in November 2019 to help build a baseball facility at the University of Arkansas. The state’s richest woman owns a 17% stake in publicly traded trucking company J.B. Hunt Transport Services, which she cofounded with her late husband, J.B., in 1969.
8. THAI LEE
$3.2 billion SOURCE: IT provider AGE: 61 • RESIDENCE: Austin, TX SELF-MADE SCORE: Sales of $10.7 billion (2019 revenues) IT provider SHI International, which she heads as CEO, spiked 6.4% in the first half of 2020 as customers like Boeing and AT&T rushed to buy remote-work technology during the pandemic. SHI said in September that it made an undisclosed investment in cloud data-management company mLogica. The South Korean immigrant and her now ex-husband purchased a struggling software reseller for under $1 million in 1989; it eventually became SHI.
9. OPRAH WINFREY
$2.6 billion SOURCE: Television AGE: 66 • RESIDENCE: Montecito, CA SELF-MADE SCORE: She’s the richest woman in entertainment as a result of 25 years of her popular daytime talk show, which ended in 2011. Winfrey has been busy during the pandemic, premiering two series under her nine-figure pact with streaming service Apple TV+. On Oprah Talks Covid-19 and The Oprah Conversation, Winfrey is back in the interview chair, discussing the coronavirus and racial injustice, respectively.
10. DORIS FISHER
$2.4 billion SOURCE: Gap AGE: 89 • RESIDENCE: San Francisco SELF-MADE SCORE: Fifty-one years after founding Gap with her husband, she and her three sons still own nearly half of the $16.4 billion (fiscal 2019 sales) clothing retailer. In January, it nixed plans to spin off Old Navy as a separate public company, citing the “cost and complexity” involved. It then tapped its Old Navy chief, Sonia Syngal, to step up as CEO in March; son Bob Fisher had filled the role for several months after the company fired previous head honcho Art Peck in November 2019. 11. ALICE SCHWARTZ $2.2 billion SOURCE: Biotech AGE: 94 • RESIDENCE: El Cerrito, CA SELF-MADE SCORE: Schwartz’s Bio-Rad Laboratories has been at the forefront of coronavirus relief efforts, providing an FDA-approved virus test as well as an antibody test, among other initiatives, to fight Covid-19. Bio-Rad shares have jumped 58% since mid-March. Schwartz, who cofounded the company in 1952 with her husband and $720 in savings, owns a 14% stake and sits on the board. Her son, Norman, is chairman and CEO.
12. GAIL MILLER
$1.9 billion SOURCE: Car dealerships AGE: 76 RESIDENCE: Salt Lake City, UT SELF-MADE SCORE: The Larry H. Miller Group, which she runs, owns the NBA’s Utah Jazz, 65 car dealerships and 15 movie theaters. The group was affected by the pandemic, leading to layoffs in April to cut costs. Still, car sales are strong, and her NBA team is worth 9% more than last year, pushing up her net worth. Her cofounder husband, Larry, died in 2009.
13. SHERYL SANDBERG
$1.8 billion SOURCE: Facebook AGE: 51 • RESIDENCE: Menlo Park, CA SELF-MADE SCORE: Sandberg, chief operating officer at Facebook, made a name for herself through her Lean In book and philosophy. She’s spent the last few years focused on improving Facebook’s tarnished public image. The company faced a boycott over the summer by over 1,000 advertisers upset with what they say is Facebook’s weak policing of hate speech and misleading political ads.
13. ELAINE WYNN
$1.8 billion SOURCE: Casinos, hotels AGE: 78 • RESIDENCE: Las Vegas SELF-MADE SCORE: Shares of Wynn Resorts, the casino operator she cofounded, have tumbled 43% since January, due largely to shelter-inplace orders that kept the company’s properties—including the Wynn and Encore in Las Vegas and Encore Boston Harbor— shuttered for several months. In 2018, her ex-husband and cofounder, Steve Wynn, resigned amid allegations of sexual misconduct. He denies the allegations.
15. EREN OZMEN
$1.2 billion SOURCE: Aerospace AGE: 62 • RESIDENCE: Reno, NV SELF-MADE SCORE: Ozmen is president of aerospace and defense firm Sierra Nevada Corp., which she owns with her husband, Fatih. The Turkish immigrants bought SNC in 1994 when it had just 20 employees and have built it into one of the United States government’s biggest majority-female-owned contractors. In August the company secured a $320 million bid to produce encryption devices for the U.S. Army.
16. SAFRA CATZ
$1.1 billion SOURCE: Oracle AGE: 58 RESIDENCE: Redwood City, CA SELF-MADE SCORE: Catz went from co-CEO to sole CEO of software giant Oracle in 2019 after her former co-CEO, Mark Hurd, passed away. In mid-September, President Trump approved a deal involving the popular Chinese video app TikTok, Walmart and Oracle in which Oracle would store the app’s U.S. data on its cloud platform. The deal still needs approval from China.
16. PEGGY CHERNG
$1.1 billion SOURCE: Fast food AGE: 72 • RESIDENCE: Las Vegas SELF-MADE SCORE: Cherng and her husband, Andrew, temporarily closed 350 of their 2,200 Chinese food Panda Express restaurants earlier this year. In June, Panda Express launched a new delivery service and announced plans to hire 30,000 employees over the next year for a range of jobs. (See Book Value, page 24.)
16. WEILI DAI
$1.1 billion SOURCE: Semiconductors AGE: 59 • RESIDENCE: Las Vegas SELF-MADE SCORE: Dai cofounded semiconductor company Marvell Technology with her husband, Sehat Sutardja, in 1995. She was president of the business until 2016, when she and Sutardja were forced out due to an internal accounting investigation—though no evidence of fraud was found. Since moving to Las Vegas in 2017, the couple have been investing in real estate and technology, including sensor company NextInput.
16. ROBYN JONES
$1.1 billion SOURCE: Insurance AGE: 58 • RESIDENCE: Fort Worth, TX SELF-MADE SCORE: Jones is cofounder and vice-chairman of Texas-based Goosehead Insurance. She shares a 39% stake in the $739 million (2019 premiums) business with her husband, Mark, who is CEO. Jones raised their six children while Mark, a former truck driver, went to college and business school and consulted at Bain. Frustrated with Mark’s road-warrior lifestyle, Jones founded Goosehead in 2003 to lure him away from Bain. Shares have soared more than 500% since Goosehead’s 2018 IPO.
16. JAYSHREE ULLAL
$1.1 billion SOURCE: Computer networking AGE: 59 RESIDENCE: Saratoga, CA SELF-MADE SCORE: Ullal has been CEO of computer networking firm Arista Networks since 2008, after rising through the ranks at rival Cisco. On an earnings call in early August, Ullal said the pandemic had created supply-chain problems in the first half of the year; in addition, increased freight and logistics costs cut into revenue. Shares fell about 20% in the month following the disclosure.
21. NEERJA SETHI
$1 billion SOURCE: IT consulting, outsourcing AGE: 65 • RESIDENCE: Fisher Island, FL SELF-MADE SCORE: Sethi and her husband, Bharat Desai, founded the IT consulting and outsourcing firm Syntel in 1980 from their Michigan apartment, investing $2,000 upfront to get it started. They sold it in October 2018, at which time Sethi pocketed an estimated $510 million stake.
22. KATHY FIELDS
$800 million SOURCE: Skin care AGE: 62 • RESIDENCE: San Francisco SELF-MADE SCORE:
22. KATIE RODAN
$800 million SOURCE: Skin care AGE: 65 • RESIDENCE: San Francisco SELF-MADE SCORE: Rodan + Fields, the skin-care firm founded in 2007 by these two dermatologists and powered by a multilevel-marketing force of 300,000 “consultants,” has hit a rough patch. As a result of the pandemic and increased competition, sales and profits have dropped, according to Moody’s, which in April downgraded the business’ $800 million in debt to “very high credit risk.” The company had no comment. Back in 2018, private equity firm TPG Capital spent $1 billion for a 25% stake in Rodan + Fields; the company borrowed $600 million, then paid the founders a dividend.
24. KIM KARDASHIAN WEST
$780 million SOURCE: Cosmetics, reality TV AGE: 39 RESIDENCE: Hidden Hills, CA SELF-MADE SCORE: ❼
Kardashian West’s net worth skyrocketed this year thanks to a rich deal with cosmetics company Coty, which bought a 20% stake in her makeup firm, KKW Beauty, for $200 million in June. Forbes calculates that the value of KKW Beauty has dropped since then amid the pandemic. Kardashian West will continue to profit from her social media endorsements—brands pay six figures to be featured on her Instagram feed— as she steps away from reality show Keeping Up With the Kardashians next year.
25. SHEILA JOHNSON
$770 million SOURCE: Cable TV AGE: 71 RESIDENCE: The Plains, VA SELF-MADE SCORE: ❾
The cofounder of cable network Black Entertainment Television now focuses on her Salamander Hotels & Resorts, which operates five properties in Virginia, South Carolina, Jamaica and Florida. Temporarily shuttered due to the coronavirus, Salamander has been slowly reopening. Johnson also owns stakes in the WNBA’s Washington Mystics, the NBA’s Washington Wizards and the NHL’s Washington Capitals.
26. TORY BURCH
$750 million SOURCE: Fashion AGE: 54 • RESIDENCE: New York City SELF-MADE SCORE: ❼
Like many other firms in the fashion industry, Burch’s luxury clothing company, Tory Burch LLC, has been wounded by the pandemic. She and her husband, its CEO, have been working furiously to salvage the business. (See story, page 132.)
26. ANNE DINNING
$750 million SOURCE: Hedge funds AGE: 57• RESIDENCE: New York City SELF-MADE SCORE: ❻
The Wall Street veteran joined quantitative hedge fund firm D.E. Shaw in 1990, two years after billionaire David Shaw founded the shop. She’s part of a five-person executive committee that runs D.E. Shaw’s day-to-day operations. Dinning also sits on the boards of nonprofits Math for America and Code.org.
28. NANCY ZIMMERMAN
$720 million SOURCE: Hedge funds AGE: 57 • RESIDENCE: Boston SELF-MADE SCORE: ❽
The Goldman Sachs alum is the cofounder of Bracebridge Capital, a Boston-based hedge fund firm that manages more than $12 billion in assets. A pioneer in the field of absolute return investing, Zimmerman manages private funds for the likes of university endowments, foundations and pensions. Zimmerman is a trustee of Brown University, her alma mater, and chairs the advisory council of the school’s Carney Institute for Brain Science.
29. APRIL ANTHONY
$700 million SOURCE: Health care AGE: 53 • RESIDENCE: Dallas SELF-MADE SCORE: ❽
Anthony founded and runs Encompass Home Health & Hospice, which she built by scooping up 17 distressed home-healthcare providers for under $500,000 between 1998 and 2001. In 2014, Anthony sold the company for $750 million to publicly traded HealthSouth, which has since taken the Encompass name. She remains CEO. The virus has wreaked havoc on the company, cutting patient visits by as much as 30% in mid-April, but business has since returned to near pre-Covid levels. Anthony has three sports cars, including a new plum-colored Bentley.
29. KYLIE JENNER
$700 million SOURCE: Cosmetics, reality TV AGE: 23 RESIDENCE: Hidden Hills, CA SELF-MADE SCORE: ❼
The youngest of the Kardashian-Jenner clan made headlines in late 2019 when she engineered one of the greatest celebrity cash-outs of all time, agreeing to sell a majority of her Kylie Cosmetics to beauty giant Coty. The $600 million price tag was overshadowed by the deal’s fine print: Jenner’s company was doing much less business than she led the world to believe. Sales, which were $200 million in 2019, fell to $52 million in the first half of 2020.
31. KIT CRAWFORD
$690 million SOURCE: Clif Bar AGE: 62 • RESIDENCE: St. Helena, CA SELF-MADE SCORE: ❽
Crawford and her husband, Gary Erickson, stepped down as co-CEOs of Clif Bar this year but still hold an 80% stake in the $843 million (est. revenue) energy bar company. The pair remain active on the company’s board, while also running the Clif Family Winery in Napa Valley and venture capital firm White Road Investments, which invests in active-lifestyle companies.
32. SARA BLAKELY
$610 million SOURCE: Spanx AGE: 49 • RESIDENCE: Atlanta SELF-MADE SCORE: ❽
Blakely’s fortune is down nearly $400 million, Forbes estimates, as the pandemic, which shuttered most workplaces and social functions, has sapped the market for shapewear. Research firm NPD Group estimates that U.S. sales of shapewear plunged more than 20% in the 12 months through July compared to the prior year.
33. THERESIA GOUW
$600 million SOURCE: Venture capital AGE: 48 • RESIDENCE: Palo Alto, CA SELF-MADE SCORE: ❾
A longtime venture capitalist, Gouw launched a new early-stage venture firm, Acrew Capital, in December 2019. She cofounded Aspect Ventures in 2014, with exits including the IPO of messaging app Slack and the sale of Hotel Tonight to Airbnb. Gouw, a first-generation Indonesian immigrant of Chinese descent, got her start as a VC in 1999 at Accel Partners, where she was the first female partner.
33. MARISSA MAYER
$600 million SOURCE: Google, Yahoo AGE: 45 • RESIDENCE: Palo Alto, CA SELF-MADE SCORE: ❻
Mayer joined Google as one of its earliest employees and spent more than a decade there before leaving to become CEO of Yahoo in 2012. She resigned shortly after Yahoo’s sale to Verizon in 2017. The next year, Mayer started Lumi Labs, a tech incubator. The firm quietly raised $20 million in May, according to a regulatory filing.
33. NEHA NARKHEDE
$600 million SOURCE: Software AGE: 36 RESIDENCE: Palo Alto, CA SELF-MADE SCORE: ❽
Confluent, a cloud company that enables an organization’s software engineers to process large amounts of data, raised another $250 million in April, nearly doubling its valuation to $4.5 billion. A former LinkedIn software engineer, Narkhede helped develop the software platform Apache Kafka to handle the networking site’s massive influx of data. In 2014 she left to cofound Confluent to build tools for companies using Apache Kafka’s open-source code.
$600 million SOURCE: Music, cosmetics AGE: 32 RESIDENCE: Los Angeles SELF-MADE SCORE: ❿
Her cosmetics line Fenty Beauty, a partnership with LVMH, has been a hit; Forbes estimates it brought in over $600 million in sales in 2019. Her Savage x Fenty lingerie line, which is co-owned by Techstyle Fashion Company, reportedly raised $50 million from investors last year. Her Clara Lionel Foundation, named after her grandparents, raised $22.5 million for coronavirus relief.
33. YOUNG SOHN
$600 million SOURCE: Software AGE: 62 • RESIDENCE: New York City SELF-MADE SCORE: ❻
Sohn, a software veteran, spent seven years on the board of Veeva Systems, a pharmaceuticals-focused cloud software company. Her net worth is lower than last year due to new information about her Veeva stake. In 2014, she cofounded Vlocity, a cloud software company that was acquired by Salesforce in June for $1.3 billion.
38. SUSAN WOJCICKI
$580 million SOURCE: Google AGE: 52 • RESIDENCE: Los Altos, CA SELF-MADE SCORE: ❻
She joined Google in 1999 as employee No. 16 and became CEO of subsidiary YouTube in 2014. Ahead of the 2020 election, Wojcicki announced in August that the site would ban videos containing hacked information, such as email leaks, that could interfere with election results. Her younger sister is 23andMe founder Anne Wojcicki (No. 49).
39. WHITNEY WOLFE HERD
$575 million SOURCE: Dating app AGE: 31 • RESIDENCE: Austin, TX SELF-MADE SCORE: ❽
Wolfe Herd became CEO of online dating group Bumble (formerly MagicLab) in November 2019, after private equity firm Blackstone bought out its former owner, Russian billionaire Andrey Andreev, in a deal that valued the business at $3 billion. The sale came five months after a Forbes investigation chronicled a toxic and sexist corporate culture at MagicLab. (The company, Andreev and Wolfe Herd denied the majority of the allegations.) Bumble reportedly plans to go public in 2021. $550 million SOURCE: Music AGE: 62 RESIDENCE: New York City SELF-MADE SCORE: ❾
The Queen of Pop released Madame X, her 14th studio album and ninth to debut at No. 1, in June 2019, but had to cancel more than a dozen shows on her Madame X Tour—featuring shows in intimate theaters across the U.S., Portugal, England and France—due to production troubles, injuries and the Covid outbreak.
41. ANASTASIA SOARE
$540 million SOURCE: Cosmetics AGE: 62 • RESIDENCE: Beverly Hills, CA SELF-MADE SCORE: ❾
Born in Romania, she launched her cosmetics line in 2000, but the popularity of products from her firm, Anastasia Beverly Hills, has waned. In April, Fitch Ratings said it expected revenue to fall 30% this year and warned that the company’s capital structure—burdened by $640 million of debt—was unsustainable. Forbes calculates that Soare’s net worth has fallen by half since last year. In 2018, private equity firm TPG acquired a minority stake in a deal that valued the company at $3 billion.
41. THERESE TUCKER
$540 million SOURCE: Software AGE: 59 RESIDENCE: Los Angeles SELF-MADE SCORE: ❽
Tucker announced in August that she will step down as CEO of BlackLine, the accounting-automation software company she founded in 2001, and transition to executive chair in January 2021. “There’s a fundamental difference in the skill sets required to scale a company to a billion in revenue,” Tucker told Forbes at the time. She sold a majority stake in 2013 to private equity investors but still owns just over 9% of the $289 million (2019 sales) company.
41. MARY WEST
$540 million SOURCE: Telemarketing AGE: 74 • RESIDENCE: San Diego SELF-MADE SCORE: ❽
She and her husband, Gary, founded their first telemarketing company in 1978 from their garage. After selling that firm two years later, West founded telecom business West Corp. in 1986. The couple sold most of their stake in 2006 for $1.4 billion. They have since given more than $400 million to help improve health care for seniors through nonprofits including their own West Health. Private equity firm Apollo acquired West Corp. for $5.1 billion in 2017, including debt.
44. DONNA CARPENTER
$530 million SOURCE: Snowboards AGE: 57 RESIDENCE: Stowe, VT SELF-MADE SCORE: ❽
Carpenter built snowboarding gear and apparel giant Burton alongside her late husband, Jake Burton Carpenter, who died of testicular cancer in 2019. Founded in 1977, the company, with estimated revenues of $300 million, is credited with launching the modern snowboard and turning a hobby into a mainstream sport. She owns the company and was CEO from 2016 until February of this year, when she became chairman of the board.
44. LISA SU
$530 million SOURCE: Semiconductors AGE: 51 • RESIDENCE: Austin, TX SELF-MADE SCORE: ❽
A Taiwanese immigrant who studied at the Bronx High School of Science and then MIT, where she got a Ph.D. in electrical engineering, Su has led the dramatic turnaround of Santa Clara, California–based semiconductor firm Advanced Micro Devices. Since she became CEO in 2014, AMD’s shares have surged more than 20-fold to a market capitalization of $90 billion. The company launched a new slate of high-performance chips that has reignited growth.
46. VICTORIA ZOELLNER
$520 million SOURCE: Hedge funds AGE: 77 • RESIDENCE: Alpine, NJ SELF-MADE SCORE: ❽
Zoellner cofounded hedge fund Alpine Associates Management with her late husband, Robert, in 1976. The couple started the firm with $400,000 from friends, family and associates. A former portfolio analyst, Zoellner focused on merger arbitrage at Alpine. She has since retired from overseeing daily operations but still chairs the firm, which manages more than $2 billion in assets.
47. HUDA KATTAN
$510 million SOURCE: Cosmetics and skin care AGE: 37 • RESIDENCE: Dubai SELF-MADE SCORE: ❾
The makeup-artist-turned-blogger is chairwoman of Huda Beauty, the $200 million (est. 2019 revenue) cosmetics company she founded, and aims to transform it into a beauty conglomerate. In February she launched a skin-care line called Wishful. In 2017, she sold a minority stake in Huda Beauty to private equity firm TSG Consumer Partners in a deal that valued the business at $1.2 billion.
47. KENDRA SCOTT
$510 million SOURCE: Jewelry AGE: 46 RESIDENCE: Austin, TX SELF-MADE SCORE: ❼
Online sales at her eponymous jewelry company helped offset store closures and keep revenue flat at an estimated $360 million in the year through July. Scott, who started the company out of a spare bedroom in 2002, now sells her jewelry at stores including Nordstrom and Bloomingdale’s, plus more than 100 of her own outlets.
49. ANNE WOJCICKI
$500 million SOURCE: DNA testing AGE: 47 • RESIDENCE: Los Altos, CA SELF-MADE SCORE: ❼
Even before the pandemic, her DNA testing company 23andMe had troubles, laying off about 100 of its staff, or 14%, in January amid a decline in sales. The cofounder and CEO, she has been steering the business into drug discovery based on its genetic research. In January, 23andMe licensed a drug candidate created in-house for the first time, to Barcelona-based Almirall. Wojcicki was married to Google cofounder Sergey Brin until 2015.
50. JAMIE KERN LIMA
$460 million SOURCE: Cosmetics, skin care AGE: 43 • RESIDENCE: Los Angeles SELF-MADE SCORE: ❾
In September 2019, she stepped down as co-CEO of IT Cosmetics, the business she founded and sold to L’Oréal in a $1.2 billion deal in 2016. She has invested some of her proceeds from the sale, which totaled at least $400 million, into 17 mostly womenled startups. She’s a former morning news anchor whose book, Believe IT: How to Go from Underestimated to Unstoppable, is set to be published in February.
51. CELINE DION
$455 million SOURCE: Music AGE: 52 RESIDENCE: Las Vegas SELF-MADE SCORE: ❽
The singer released Courage, her first chart-topping album in 17 years, in November 2019, then embarked on her Courage World Tour. After 52 sold-out North American shows, she was forced to postpone more than a dozen concerts in the U.S. and Canada, plus her entire 33stop European leg, due to the pandemic.
52. DONNA KARAN
$450 million SOURCE: Fashion AGE: 72 • RESIDENCE: New York City SELF-MADE SCORE: ❽
The clothing designer sold her brands and trademarks to French luxury-goods conglomerate LVMH for $600 million two decades ago. Urban Zen, her luxury lifestyle company (which also includes the Urban Zen Foundation), recently launched a wellness program incorporating meditation, breathing techniques and restorative yoga poses for first responders and “health-care heroes” during the pandemic.
53. JUDY SHEINDLIN
$445 million SOURCE: Television AGE: 77 • RESIDENCE: Naples, FL SELF-MADE SCORE: ❽
In March, Sheindlin announced that her reality courtroom show, Judge Judy, will end in 2021 after 25 seasons on air. The judge, who earns $47 million a year (before taxes) from the series, doesn’t plan to hang up her robe just yet: A new show, Judy Justice, is in the works. Reruns of Judge Judy will continue to air; CBS bought the rights to her library—with at least 5,200 shows—for $100 million in 2017.
54. ADI TATARKO
$430 million SOURCE: Home design AGE: 48 • RESIDENCE: Palo Alto, CA SELF-MADE SCORE: ❽
Tatarko cofounded Houzz, a home goods and interior-design website that was valued at $4 billion in 2017. Since that time, the company has gone through multiple rounds of layoffs, including a reported 10% cut of staff in April. Things may be looking up, though: In June, Houzz saw a 58% increase over the prior year in customer demand for home professionals who advertise on the site.
55. BEYONCÉ KNOWLES
$420 million SOURCE: Music AGE: 39 RESIDENCE: Los Angeles SELF-MADE SCORE: ❼
The superstar returned to the charts this summer thanks to the musical film Black Is King, which is based on her album The Lion King: The Gift and premiered on Disney+ in July. She also has reentered the apparel industry, relaunching her athleisure line, Ivy Park, with Adidas in January; the first run reportedly sold out in less than three days.
56. NORA ROBERTS
$400 million SOURCE: Books AGE: 70 • RESIDENCE: Boonsboro, MD SELF-MADE SCORE: ❽
The best-selling author has written more than 220 romance books and a popular series of crime novels under the pen name J.D. Robb. Five new works have been published just since last year’s list, helping add to her wealth, with two more on the way by the end of the year.
56. BARBRA STREISAND
$400 million SOURCE: Music, film AGE: 78 • RESIDENCE: Malibu, CA SELF-MADE SCORE: ❿
Over six decades in show business, the multitalented Streisand has amassed a trove of awards (she is one of only a few performers to win an Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony)—and a fortune, thanks to her bestselling films, albums and tours. In November, she will release Walls, her first original album in 15 years.
58. DANIELLE STEEL
$385 million SOURCE: Books AGE: 73 • RESIDENCE: San Francisco SELF-MADE SCORE: ❼
The romance queen, who has sold more than 650 million books in 69 countries since 1973, has kept producing throughout the pandemic. Since March, Steel has released The Numbers Game, The Wedding Dress and Daddy’s Girls. Her latest book, Royal, hit shelves in August.
59. KARISSA BODNAR
$370 million SOURCE: Cosmetics AGE: 31 • RESIDENCE: Los Angeles SELF-MADE SCORE: ❾
Her Thrive Causemetics made the poorly timed decision to enter retail stores for the first time in November 2019, partnering with Ulta Beauty. But the company’s direct-to-consumer business has so far kept it afloat during the pandemic. Bodnar previously worked at L’Oréal as a product developer for skin care and cosmetics before leaving to launch Thrive in 2016 with $100,000 in savings.
59. ELLEN DEGENERES
$370 million SOURCE: Television AGE: 62 • RESIDENCE: Santa Barbara, CA SELF-MADE SCORE: ❽
The TV host has been under fire. Reports over the last few months contend that she has presided over a toxic workplace—a stark contrast to the kind persona she portrays on television. That led to the dismissal of three executive producers and an internal investigation by Warner Media. While there were calls for her to cancel her syndicated program—which made her an estimated $50 million (before taxes) last year— the 18th season premiered in September. On the first episode, she apologized to viewers and her staff, saying she takes responsibility for “what happens on my show.”
59. KATHLEEN HILDRETH
$370 million SOURCE: Airplane maintenance AGE: 59 • RESIDENCE: Aubrey, TX SELF-MADE SCORE: ❽
A West Point grad and service-disabled Army veteran, Hildreth helps run M1 Support Services, which maintains military aircraft fighter jets such as F-15s and F-16s. M1 Support, which she cofounded in 2003 after being deployed around the world as a helicopter and maintenance test pilot, pulled in $850 million in sales in 2019 thanks to its sole customer: the U.S. government.
62. LIZ ELTING
$365 million SOURCE: Translation services AGE: 54 • RESIDENCE: New York City SELF-MADE SCORE: ❽
Elting cofounded translation company TransPerfect in 1992 from her college dorm room, but left in 2018 after pocketing $385 million (pretax), ending a long-running battle with Phil Shawe, her cofounder and ex-fiancé. Her Elizabeth Elting Foundation—focused on public health and education with the aim of “lifting up women and other marginalized people”—has put more than $1 million into its recently launched Halo Fund, which is providing money for Covid-19 research and relief.
62. TAYLOR SWIFT
$365 million SOURCE: Music AGE: 30 • RESIDENCE: Nashville, TN SELF-MADE SCORE: ❽
After canceling her 2020 tour due to the pandemic, Swift dropped a surprise album, Folklore, in July. It moved 846,000 units in its first week, becoming her seventh record to top the Billboard charts. She’s also streaming on Netflix: Miss Americana, a documentary about her life, premiered in January at the Sundance Film Festival and outlines her journey toward becoming more politically active.
64. KATRINA LAKE
$360 million SOURCE: Online retail AGE: 37 • RESIDENCE: San Francisco SELF-MADE SCORE: ❽
Lake has come a long way since she started online shopping service Stitch Fix out of her Cambridge, Massachusetts, apartment in 2011 while completing a Harvard MBA. Revenue dropped 9% in the quarter ended May 2 but then increased 3% in the quarter through August 1. Stitch Fix added 104,000 new customers in the most recent quarter, bringing its total to 3.5 million.
65. SONIA GARDNER
$330 million SOURCE: Finance AGE: 58 • RESIDENCE: New York City SELF-MADE SCORE: ❽
Gardner cofounded the investment firm Avenue Capital Group with her brother Marc Lasry, who is now a billionaire, in 1995. She serves as president of the company, which manages nearly $10 billion in debt. The firm closed a $400 million impact investing fund earlier this year and is currently raising its inaugural venture capital fund.
65. NICHOLE MUSTARD
$330 million SOURCE: Personal finance AGE: 47 • RESIDENCE: Orinda, CA SELF-MADE SCORE: ❾
The Credit Karma cofounder and chief revenue officer put herself through college, then started working in financial planning. In 2007, she launched Credit Karma with two others from an office above a San Francisco bar. The site—which shows customers their credit scores, offers free tax-preparation software and more—has 100 million members. In February, Intuit agreed to buy the company for $7.1 billion in cash and stock; the deal had not closed as of September.
65. MARTINE ROTHBLATT
$330 million SOURCE: Pharmaceuticals AGE: 66 • RESIDENCE: Satellite Beach, FL SELF-MADE SCORE: ❽
In August, publicly traded United Therapeutics, led by Rothblatt, submitted an FDA application for approval of its drug Tyvaso to treat a type of pulmonary hypertension. She cofounded satellite-radio firm Sirius XM but moved into biotech in 1996 after her daughter Jenesis was diagnosed with pulmonary hypertension at age 9 and given just years to live; she is now 36.
68. CLAIRE HUGHES JOHNSON
$325 million SOURCE: Payments software AGE: 48 RESIDENCE: Milton, MA SELF-MADE SCORE: ❽
Stripe’s chief operating officer joined the payments startup, now valued by private investors at $36 billion, in 2014, when it had just over 160 employees and only a few sales and marketing employees. She started her business career in consulting, then moved to Google, where her roles included running the business side of its self-driving unit.
68. PLEASANT ROWLAND
$325 million SOURCE: American Girl dolls AGE: 79 • RESIDENCE: Madison, WI SELF-MADE SCORE: ❽
The former elementary school teacher created the American Girl line of historical dolls and books, then sold it to Mattel for $700 million in 1998. Through her Rowland Reading Foundation, she created Superkids, a phonics-based literacy program that she sold to children’s publisher Highlights for Children for an undisclosed sum in 2015.
70. SUSAN WAGNER
$315 million SOURCE: Blackrock, Inc. AGE: 59 RESIDENCE: Mount Kisco, NY SELF-MADE SCORE: ❽
The longtime BlackRock executive, who helped cofound the investment management behemoth in 1988, retired as vice chairman of the firm in 2012 but still sits on its board. She’s also on the boards of Apple and Burlingame, California–based health-tech firm Color Genomics.
71. LYNDA WEINMAN
$310 million SOURCE: Online education AGE: 65 • RESIDENCE: Montecito, CA SELF-MADE SCORE: ❽
The former web-design teacher sold Lynda .com, an online-learning website with more than 250,000 video tutorials, for $1.5 billion in cash and stock to LinkedIn in 2015. Weinman stepped down as executive chairman before Microsoft bought LinkedIn for $26 billion the following year. She has produced some 20 films through Another Chapter Productions, including Emmy-winning documentary The Apollo, about the iconic Harlem theater.
72. JESSICA ICLISOY
$290 million SOURCE: Baby products AGE: 54 • RESIDENCE: Los Angeles SELF-MADE SCORE: ❽
Throughout the months of the pandemic, sales of California Baby’s hand sanitizer have surged. It’s all made in a facility that Iclisoy—who founded California Baby in 1990—owns in downtown Los Angeles. Iclisoy still owns 100% of the organic baby products business, which has estimated revenues of $115 million.
72. GWYNNE SHOTWELL
$290 million SOURCE: SpaceX AGE: 56 RESIDENCE: Los Angeles SELF-MADE SCORE: ❻
Employee No. 11 at Elon Musk’s SpaceX, Shotwell is president and chief operating officer of the commercial space exploration company. This year, SpaceX has launched about 600 satellites for its internet product, Starlink, and ferried two NASA astronauts to the International Space Station in May—then raised another $1.9 billion in funding in August, at a $46 billion valuation. Forbes estimates that Shotwell owns just under 1% of SpaceX.
74. JANICE BRYANT HOWROYD
$285 million SOURCE: Staffing AGE: 68 • RESIDENCE: Las Vegas SELF-MADE SCORE: ❾
Bryant Howroyd is founder and CEO of workforce solutions and temporary staffing provider ActOne Group, which claims to have more than 17,000 clients in 19 countries. Her net worth is down about $100 million compared to a year ago amid a staffing-industry slump due to the coronavirus. In August 2019, Bryant Howroyd released her latest book, Acting Up, in which she shares leadership advice.
74. PATRICIA MILLER
$285 million SOURCE: Accessories AGE: 81 • RESIDENCE: Fort Wayne, IN SELF-MADE SCORE: ❽
Miller retired from the board of Vera Bradley in August 2019, nearly four decades after founding the vibrant bag-and-accessory brand with Barbara Bradley Baekgaard (No. 86). The two women, then neighbors, started out with $500 and a ping-pong table as a workspace. She and her husband share a nearly 17% stake in the publicly traded company, whose sales in the quarter through August 1 rose 10% from the prior year despite the pandemic, thanks to e-commerce sales doubling and revenue from bracelet brand Pura Vida, of which it acquired a majority stake in 2019.
76. VERA WANG
$270 million SOURCE: Fashion design AGE: 71 • RESIDENCE: New York City SELF-MADE SCORE: ❼
Best known for her iconic wedding dress collections, Wang has designed for a slew of A-list celebrities including Victoria Beckham, Kim Kardashian West and Alicia Keys. She was the youngest editor of Vogue and worked as a design director for Ralph Lauren before launching her own bridal line in 1990 after planning her own wedding. Her net worth is down this year due to the hit to the wedding industry caused by the coronavirus.
77. RESHMA SHETTY
$260 million SOURCE: Biotechnology AGE: 40 • RESIDENCE: Boston SELF-MADE SCORE: ❽
Shetty cofounded Ginkgo Bioworks along with three fellow Ph.D.s from MIT—including her now husband, Barry Canton— and professor Tom Knight. One of the earliest synthetic biology startups, Ginkgo’s goal was to create tools to help scientists do their work faster and easier. With minimal funding to start, they bought lab equipment off eBay. Today Ginkgo is worth $4.9 billion, according to PitchBook, with backers that include Bill Gates’ investment arm, Cascade Investment, and mutual fund firm T. Rowe Price.
78. TONI KO
$255 million SOURCE: Cosmetics AGE: 47 • RESIDENCE: Los Angeles SELF-MADE SCORE: ❾
She sold NYX Cosmetics, the colorful and affordable makeup brand she founded in 1999 with seed money from her family, to L’Oréal for $500 million in 2014. Since then, she has invested more than $120 million in Los Angeles–area commercial real estate, which has declined in value since the pandemic emerged. Last fall she launched a new company, Bespoke Beauty Brands.
78. KELLY STECKELBERG
$255 million SOURCE: Zoom AGE: 53 RESIDENCE: San Jose, CA SELF-MADE SCORE: ❻
Steckelberg logged two decades working in finance for companies such as Cisco’s Webex and ran dating app Zoosk before joining Zoom Video Communications as chief financial officer in late 2017—in time to prepare the videoconference company’s April 2019 IPO. The stock has soared during the pandemic, as has Zoom use for work-from-home meetings and social gatherings. Most of her net worth lies in Zoom stock options.
80. THERESA PAN
$250 million SOURCE: Fiber optics AGE: 74 • RESIDENCE: Milpitas, CA SELF-MADE SCORE: ❽
Pan, an immigrant from Taiwan, cofounded fiber-optic components firm E-Tek Dynamics with her husband, Jing Jong Pan, in 1983. In 2000 the company merged with fiber-optics firm JDS Uniphase in a $15 billion transaction that landed both Pan and her husband on The Forbes 400 at a $1.8 billion net worth. Shares of JDS soon plummeted, knocking her off the list in 2001. Pan now heads the Dynamic Foundation, which helps build and renovate schools in rural China.
80. CATHIE WOOD
$250 million SOURCE: Money management AGE: 64 • RESIDENCE: Wilton, CT SELF-MADE SCORE: ❽
She founded Ark Investment Management, a $29 billion (assets) firm dedicated to investing in a variety of disruptive technologies including self-driving cars, DNA sequencing, gene editing and space exploration. Her flagship $8.6 billion Ark Innovation ETF, up 75% in 2020, is one of the best-performing funds in the world. (See story, page 42.)
82. BELINDA JOHNSON
$245 million SOURCE: Airbnb AGE: 53 • RESIDENCE: Redwood City, CA SELF-MADE SCORE: ❻
Johnson stepped down as Airbnb’s chief operating officer in March, just before the coronavirus devastated the home-rental company. Airbnb’s valuation was slashed to $26 billion in April, and it laid off 25% of its staff in May. Johnson, who was the company’s first executive hire in 2011, still sits on its board.
83. SERENA WILLIAMS
$225 million SOURCE: Tennis AGE: 39 RESIDENCE: Palm Beach Gardens, FL SELF-MADE SCORE: ❾
Her $94 million in career prize money is more than twice as much as any other female athlete, but the 23-time Grand Slam champion has earned three times as much (pretax) from endorsements and appearances. Through her fund, Serena Ventures, she has invested in more than 50 startups since 2014; 60% are companies founded by women and minorities, including mom-focused exercise business Every Mother.
84. SUZY BATIZ
$215 million SOURCE: Bathroom spray AGE: 56 • RESIDENCE: Dallas SELF-MADE SCORE: ❿
Her Poo-Pourri quickly pivoted during the pandemic, launching a line of hand sanitizers to complement its sprays that combat toilet and shoe odor. That helped revenue grow more than 15% in the year through July. (Revenue hit $63 million in 2018.) Batiz went through two bankruptcies before launching Poo-Pourri in 2007.
84. SARAH FRIAR
$215 million SOURCE: Mobile payments AGE: 47 • RESIDENCE: Ross, CA SELF-MADE SCORE: ❻
Friar, who hails from Northern Ireland, became CEO of neighborhood-focused social network Nextdoor in late 2018, after working as a software analyst at Goldman Sachs, in finance at Salesforce and, for six years, as chief financial officer of payments firm Square. In June, following Nextdoor user complaints about racial profiling and racist remarks on the site, Friar wrote a blog post apologizing and promising to strengthen moderation of users’ posts.