Best Female CEOs #2 — Laura Alber (Williams Sonoma)
Laura Alber spent 10 years at Wiliams-Sonoma (WSM) in various positions before replacing company veteran Howard Lester as CEO in May 2010. Since she took charge, WSM stock hasn’t had a single year of negative returns. In fact, since the beginning of May 2008, WSM stock has achieved a cumulative total return of 190%! That’s more than 100 percentage points higher than the SPY.
There’s no question that WSM stock has performed admirably during her tenure as CEO. However, a lot of that has to do with its business model and the work Alber has put into its e-commerce business, which represents 48% of revenue. As a result, Williams-Sonoma’s margins are higher than ever. With comparable store sales looking good, WSM’s future is bright.
Like Grossman, Alber must be considered one of the best female CEOs in America. But Alber edges out Grossman (barely), due to superior stock performance.