2009 Ellen J. Kullman
Ellen J. Kullman became DuPont’s first female chief executive officer on Jan. 1, 2009. She is the 19th executive to lead the company founded in 1802. She became chair of the board on Dec. 31, 2009. Prior to becoming CEO, Kullman was president of the company from Oct. 1 through Dec. 31, 2008. She has steadily climbed the list of Fortune magazine’s 50 Most Powerful Women, clinching the No. 7 spot for 2009 and 2010.
Kullman first joined DuPont in 1988 as a marketing manager. She moved up through the company as business director for several businesses, including White Pigment & Mineral Products, where she became vice president and general manager in 1995. In 1998, she led one of the company’s high-growth businesses, DuPont Safety Resources. The following year she assumed leadership of Bio-Based Materials. In 2002, she was named group vice president of DuPont Safety & Protection. She became executive vice president in 2006 with responsibility for three business platforms and several functions including Marketing & Sales. In 2008, just prior to being named CEO, she was chosen to lead the company’s focus on growth in emerging international markets. Kullman worked for General Electric before her career with DuPont. She earned a bachelor of science degree in mechanical engineering from Tufts University and a master's degree in management from Northwestern University.